early referral, occupational therapy, positioning, pressure relief, spinal cord injury



  1. Fries, Joyce M. MS, OTR/L


Most healthcare practitioners have worked with patients with spinal cord injury at some point in their career, for some it is a specialty. The critical care area usually only has patient with spinal cord injury for a brief time before they are transferred. More recently, there are longer intensive care unit stays due to multiple trauma and lack of insurance. Nurses must be cognizant of indications, contraindications, and best practice interventions to contribute positively to patient's long-term outcomes. As part of the multispecialty team, nurses can be pivotal in preventing secondary complications, especially pressure ulcers. Rehabilitation team members can be consulted early to provide expertise in managing this complex diagnostic group.