brihana25 (brihana25) wrote in little_details,

Basic question about spinal injuries

I thought that this would be a simple five minute Google to find information on, but apparently I was wrong.

Setting: modern day small-town emergency room
Character: 28 year old male, healthy pre-injury

He was in the basement of a house that collapsed, and was hit across his lower back by a falling beam. He was pulled out of the house with no spinal stabilization, because it was the only way to save his life. The doctor knows all of this, and he has no sensation or motor below the T12 vertebrae.

What isn't known, at the time of the scene I'm writing, is whether the injury is complete, incomplete, or nothing more than extreme swelling pressing on the nerves, because it's a small-town hospital and they're waiting for the radiologist to get back to them about the films they shot.

All I need to know is: what position would he be in on the bed when his brother comes to see him? I'm pretty sure that just sitting there with his head elevated is out, but other than that, I'm stumped. Would he be flat on his back? On his stomach? Reverse Trendelenburg? Turned on his side and propped up? Would he be strapped in? Would he have a collar or some sort of back brace?

I've Google searched a whole bunch of combinations of all the following terms:
spinal trauma, severed spinal cord, spinal cord injury, spinal precautions, spinal bed, hospital bed, trendelenburg, stabilize spine in hospital, suspected spinal injury, position, temporary vs permanent paralysis

Thanks in advance, everyone.
Tags: ~medicine: injuries: broken bones, ~medicine: paralysis

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