Emergency medical services should notify the receiving hospital that a trauma patient with suspected SCI is on the way. This information may be crucial to how a severely injured patient is managed and can allow for communication to vital members of the response team as well as time to prepare the department for the patient’s arrival.
The presence of acute SCI needs to be assumed in a multi-‐trauma patient, particularly with altered conscious state, until it can be dismissed by appropriate clinical and radiological examination.
The following sequence of actions should take place upon initial notification:
M Mechanism of injury
I Injuries found or suspected
S Signs: respiratory rate, pulse, blood pressure, SpO2, GCS or AVPU
T Treatment given
If there is no prior notification of the patient, then rapid activation of the trauma team request must take place and any additional resources notified. If it is anticipated that transfer to an MTS will be required, early retrieval activation is essential (phone ARV on 1300 368 661).
Even if you are unsure, call the ARV coordinator, who can provide expert guidance and advice over the phone or via tele- or videoconference, and link to an MTS as required.