Early rapid neurological assessment

A rapid assessment to be used in the prehospital and emergency settings is currently being trialled and is showing excellent results. A brief assessment called the SPinal Emergency Evaluation of Deficits (SPEED) uses foot motor and sensory function to indicate injury severity and C3 dermatome sensation, handgrip strength and location of spinal pain to indicate the level of injury. This new approach to early SCI assessment is an important step as to undertake the complete American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) assessment requires significant training and given the time and complexity cannot be undertaken in the field. The SPEED assessment appears capable of accurately determining the severity and level of cervical SCI in the first hours post-injury. A neurological assessment that can be performed rapidly after injury is important for clinical trials of early therapy and to identify patients most likely to benefit from intervention.10