- Poster presentation
- Open Access
Plain radiological investigations in admissions to a trauma centre ICU
© BioMed Central Ltd 2008
- Published: 13 March 2008
- Emergency Department
- Cervical Spine
- Trauma Patient
- Trauma Centre
- Spinal Injury
As the tertiary centre in Northern Ireland, severely injured patients are transferred to Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) regional ICU for further definitive management. Minimum radiology should be performed before transfer.
ICU transfers from the emergency department (ED), RVH and district general hospital (DGH), to the trauma centre were prospectively audited over 4 months.
Plain radiological investigations performed
Cervical spine lateral (%)
Cervical spine antero-posterior (%)
Injuries identified prior to ICU admission
Cervical spine (%)
Thoracolumbar spine (%)
Despite Advanced Trauma Life Support guidelines, plain X-ray scans of the lateral cervical spine, chest and pelvis are not routinely performed in all trauma patients. Not all spinal injuries are being detected by radiology performed in EDs. Significant delays in clearance of spinal injuries occur despite a protocol in place, exposing patients to other potential risks. The development of a critical care network in Northern Ireland should allow the standardisation of pre-ICU management of trauma patients.
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.