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Type: Journal article
Title: Drowning is rarely associated with spinal injury
Author: Angley, Christopher J.
Allen, Mervyn R.
Citation: Emergency Medicine, 1996; 8(2):75-78
Issue Date: 1996
Statement of
Angley, Christopher J ; Allen, Mervyn R
Abstract: A nine year retrospective review was conducted of the case notes of 60 patients with spinal injury related to water accidents presenting to the Spinal Injuries Unit of the Royal Adelaide Hospital. A retrospective review was also performed of the South Australian Coroner's records of 113 drowning deaths occurring between January 1990 and May 1995. Ninety percent of patients admitted to the spinal injuries unit were males, most were young (13–62 years, mean 25 years) and 75% sustained injury diving into shallow water. Seventy three percent of injuries were to the lower cervical spine (C5, C6, C7). Thirty percent resulted in permanent tetraplegia. An additional 25% had transient neurological loss. Thirteen percent had loss of consciousness, half of which were near-drownings. There were no deaths and only one case of aspiration pneumonia. Prehospital spinal immobilisation was poorly documented. Only 15% of cases were recorded as having adequate spinal immobilisation applied. Only 2% of drowning deaths in the Coroner's records were reported as having associated spinal injuries.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1442-2026.1996.tb00257.x
Appears in Collections:Surgery publications

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