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    New SCI for Young Marine

    My son, a new Marine, was in a serious car accident and has a "complete injury" at T4/T5. I believe he will be moved to San Diego Naval Medical Center at Balboa.

    I would be interested in any information available about the quality of care available for SCI at this facility.

    I would also be interested in any guidance on key steps to take at this early time.

    Thanks

    #2
    Very sorry to hear about your son.

    Hopefully someone else can chime in regarding his facility, but as to your other question, some of the more common things to watch out for are skin issues (pressure sores), bloot clots, and infection (usually bladder). Is he already getting up, into a chair?

    Comment


      #3
      The DoD has a MOA (Memorandum of Agreement) with the VA Healthcare System that directs that active duty patients with a new SCI should be moved ASAP to a VA SCI Center. There is such as center in San Diego; but it is not at Balboa. He does NOT have to go to Balboa first. He can be moved from wherever he is now to the VA for their SCI rehabilitation program. If you want to PM me with your contact information I can call or privately e-mail you about this tomorrow. I work at this the SCI Center at the VA San Diego.

      (KLD)
      The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

      Comment


        #4
        We are waiting for a special brace that had to be fabricated for his body shape. We cant wait so he is not staring at the ceiling. We do not want him getting pneumonia or bed sores, plus his mood is falling and a change of scenery may help him a little in this very difficult situation.

        Originally posted by Scaper1 View Post
        Very sorry to hear about your son.

        Hopefully someone else can chime in regarding his facility, but as to your other question, some of the more common things to watch out for are skin issues (pressure sores), bloot clots, and infection (usually bladder). Is he already getting up, into a chair?

        Comment


          #5
          The SCI Unit located at Jefferson Barrackets St Louis is an excellent facility. We have our own building just for SCI personnel.
          Get away from general care to a SCI unit quickly. Insist on it. They do not understand SCI problems or proper care. They are not use to dealing with it.
          Hang in there. It is rough.
          Semper Fi

          Comment


            #6
            Argh, breaking your back, being in the hospital, rehab all suck. But nothing sucks more than that f&%king brace. I had to wear one for 4 months (the last month was hell because the doctor originally said 3 then changed his mind). When I got home after being told I didn't have to wear I put it up against a tree and put about 50 rounds of various types of ammo into it. I have a similar injury (T8 complete) I don't know how the VA handles things but a couple things I wish I had known regarding the TLSO

            - In rehab you get stuck w/ loaner chairs with a wide range of sizes, age, so you are super eager to get your own chair ASAP. Wait till your son is out of the brace before getting fitted for a chair. My first chair was an 18x18 (I have a 16x18 now and could fit in a 15x18) with a large back and when the brace came off it was way too wide and the back was too high up.

            - don't leave rehab in the brace. You can't do your own bowel program w/ a TLSO, any sort if wheelchair training like learning to wheelie up curbs is impossible.

            Originally posted by CJTMarineDad View Post
            We are waiting for a special brace that had to be fabricated for his body shape. We cant wait so he is not staring at the ceiling. We do not want him getting pneumonia or bed sores, plus his mood is falling and a change of scenery may help him a little in this very difficult situation.

            Comment


              #7
              Thanks

              Latest info is that my son will be transferred to the VA SCI center in San Diego, at least initially. The Marine Corps is working to get my son transferred to the Wounded Warrior Battalion - East. Then, we can work with them to get him transferred back to teh East Coast where he has lots of family and friends who love him and can provide teh emotional support needed.

              Originally posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
              The DoD has a MOA (Memorandum of Agreement) with the VA Healthcare System that directs that active duty patients with a new SCI should be moved ASAP to a VA SCI Center. There is such as center in San Diego; but it is not at Balboa. He does NOT have to go to Balboa first. He can be moved from wherever he is now to the VA for their SCI rehabilitation program. If you want to PM me with your contact information I can call or privately e-mail you about this tomorrow. I work at this the SCI Center at the VA San Diego.

              (KLD)

              Comment


                #8
                Thanks. The current story is that he first needs to go through teh Naval Medical Center to get cleared for rehabilitation. He still needs one more surgery.

                Originally posted by Semper Fi View Post
                The SCI Unit located at Jefferson Barrackets St Louis is an excellent facility. We have our own building just for SCI personnel.
                Get away from general care to a SCI unit quickly. Insist on it. They do not understand SCI problems or proper care. They are not use to dealing with it.
                Hang in there. It is rough.
                Semper Fi

                Comment


                  #9
                  We were so very hopeful that the brace would make him more comfortable, but when they put it on him yesterday he was even more uncomfortable. It was very upsetting, even each positive step forward seems like one step back.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    No spinal orthosis (brace) is designed for comfort. Hopefully they can make some minor adjustments for comfort, but the point of the brace is to hold the spinal bones and hardware in alignment for proper healing while allowing rehabilitation to proceed. Most people wear these for 3 months, and it must be on when the head of the bed is raised or the person is out of bed. Most people go home from rehab still wearing their brace, and this may limit self care activities such as self bowel care (but we often can work around this with adaptive equipment). It is better than the old days when people were on total bed rest for 4-5 months while their backs healed!!

                    He can achieve optimal vertebral (bone) healing by 1) eating well (high protein), 2) wearing his brace at all times, 3) avoiding NSAID medications for pain (interfere with bone healing) and 4) not using any tobacco products.

                    (KLD)
                    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      thanks

                      Great advice. Thanks.

                      I am going to go out to Jamba Juice and get a protein shake for my son later today. They put him back in the temporary brace since it was more comfortable, but we would like him to get the courage up to get back in the custom brace. Since it is Thanksgiving, I don't think I can get adjustments today.

                      On that note, Happy Thanksgiving to all.

                      Originally posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
                      No spinal orthosis (brace) is designed for comfort. Hopefully they can make some minor adjustments for comfort, but the point of the brace is to hold the spinal bones and hardware in alignment for proper healing while allowing rehabilitation to proceed. Most people wear these for 3 months, and it must be on when the head of the bed is raised or the person is out of bed. Most people go home from rehab still wearing their brace, and this may limit self care activities such as self bowel care (but we often can work around this with adaptive equipment). It is better than the old days when people were on total bed rest for 4-5 months while their backs healed!!

                      He can achieve optimal vertebral (bone) healing by 1) eating well (high protein), 2) wearing his brace at all times, 3) avoiding NSAID medications for pain (interfere with bone healing) and 4) not using any tobacco products.

                      (KLD)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Update: My son is still at Naval Medical Center San Diego. He has been eating solid food and has not had a fever for a few days now. We visited the Spinal Cord Rehab Center at the La Jolla VA and everyone was very nice and helpful. However, my son woudl like to go back to be closer to home in New Jersey. We are working to make this happen. I am anxious to get him out of the hospital and into rehab as soon as possible

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Not sure if they would allow transfer to a civilian rehab but if they allow kessler is very good in nj if not i would think that the walter reed in dc would maybe be the closest va center but i could be wrong do the research. Definaltly get him to a rehab asap for a better outcome.
                          T6 Incomplete due to a Spinal cord infarction July 2009

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I'd consider staying at La Jolla for his rehab. The weather will be nice there for the next 4 months while it will suck in NJ. I know that my rehab got better at the West Roxbury SCI center in Boston once the weather got better.
                            Don - Grad Student Emeritus
                            T3 ASIA A 27 years post injury

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Smashms View Post
                              Not sure if they would allow transfer to a civilian rehab but if they allow kessler is very good in nj if not i would think that the walter reed in dc would maybe be the closest va center but i could be wrong do the research. Definaltly get him to a rehab asap for a better outcome.
                              Walter Reed is a Department of Defense (Army) hospital which is actually now merged with Bethesda (Navy) Hospital. Neither is a VA hospital. The DoD and the VA are separate departments of the federal government. There are no DoD SCI units. There is a MOU (memorandum of agreement) between the VA and the DoD for active duty service members (ADSM) to be referred to and receive their SCI acute and rehab care in VA SCI centers. The closest that offers this to NJ is at the Bronx VA. While the East Orange VA (NJ) also has a SCI unit, currently they do not offer acute rehabilitation as part of their program.

                              (KLD)
                              The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

                              Comment

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