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Panamerican Journal of Trauma, Critical Care & Emergency Surgery


Introduction: The incidence of Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) for Latin America has been estimated from epidemiological researches of Brazil, so we decided to measure the incidence, distribution and features related to SCI in a reference level 3 institution.

Materials and methods: A descriptive retrospective study was done with patients attended during 5 years at a level 3 hospital. Monthly and annual SCI (IoSCI, CI95%) incidence was estimated; they were categorized by sociodemographic and clinical variables, among these: Conditions at hospital admission, severity of injury classification (AO, ASIA) and 6-month functional follow-up; a multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) was done, to extract component related with functional improvement at 6 months.

Results: A total of 174 cases were identified, median age of 45 years, men 75.3%; 70% were injured during work activity, none of that with labor accident insurance. The Io-SCI from the period was 1.34 cases/100 person-year (CI95%, 1.51-1.55). The average in-hospital length of stay was 12 days (LOS), with differences among AO classification, ASIA-admission, type of management (medical/surgical) and admission to ICU (p:0.000). Falls and motor vehicle crashes, both were the main cause (88.5%, 95% CI, 83.5-93.5%); lumbar and thoracic injuries, both were present in 75.3% of the cases; admission ASIA was D or E in 75% of the patients. Functional improvement at 6-months was present when, at admission, ASIA classification it was D and AO was C.

Conclusion: The Io-SCI was higher than other local series, the LOS was related with the type, place of treatment and severity of the injury; in turn, severity of injury was related with functional improvement at 6 months.

Clinic relevance: Colombia needs to create a surveillance system adjusted to international standard, to evaluate the impact of this condition.

Keywords: Spinal cord injury, incidence, ASIA classification, AO classification.

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