Spinal clearance in unconscious children following traumatic brain injury

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Abstract

Spinal clearance in unconscious children following traumatic brain injury is an area of controversy. The risk of significant injury in this high-risk group needs to be balanced against that of prolonged spinal immobilization and all its implications. No national or international guideline exists to aid clinicians faced with such a scenario. This article reviews traumatic spinal injury in children looking at prevalence, risk factors, anatomical considerations, and radiological investigation. Spinal immobilization is discussed along with the use of appropriate and targeted radiological investigations to aid clearance.

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