Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 13-18

Analysis of patients ≥65 with predominant cervical spine fractures: Issues of disposition and dysphagia


1 Department of Surgery, The University of Kansas School of Medicine - Wichita, KS 67214, USA
2 Department of Surgery, The University of Kansas School of Medicine - Wichita; Department of Medical Education, Via Christi Hospital, Wichita, KS 67214, USA
3 Department of Surgery, The University of Kansas School of Medicine - Wichita; Department of Trauma Services, Via Christi Hospital, Wichita, KS 67214, USA

Correspondence Address:
James M Haan
Department of Surgery, The University of Kansas School of Medicine - Wichita; Department of Trauma Services, Via Christi Hospital, Wichita, KS 67214
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-2700.199518

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Background: Cervical spine fractures occur in 2.6% to 4.7% of trauma patients aged 65 years or older. Mortality rates in this population ranges from 19% to 24%. A few studies have specifically looked at dysphagia in elderly patients with cervical spine injury. Aims: The aim of this study is to evaluate dysphagia, disposition, and mortality in elderly patients with cervical spine injury. Settings and Design: Retrospective review at an the American College of Surgeons-verified level 1 trauma center. Methods: Patients 65 years or older with cervical spine fracture, either isolated or in association with other minor injuries were included in the study. Data included demographics, injury details, neurologic deficits, dysphagia evaluation and treatment, hospitalization details, and outcomes. Statistical Analysis: Categorical and continuous data were analyzed using Chi-square analysis and one-way analysis of variance, respectively. Results: Of 136 patients in this study, 2 (1.5%) had a sensory deficit alone, 4 (2.9%) had a motor deficit alone, and 4 (2.9%) had a combined sensory and motor deficit. Nearly one-third of patients (n = 43, 31.6%) underwent formal swallow evaluation, and 4 (2.9%) had a nasogastric tube or Dobhoff tube placed for enteral nutrition, whereas eight others (5.9%) had a gastrostomy tube or percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube placed. Most patients were discharged to a skilled nursing unit (n = 50, 36.8%), or to home or home with home health (n = 48, 35.3%). Seven patients (5.1%) died in the hospital, and eight more (5.9%) were transferred to hospice. Conclusion: Cervical spine injury in the elderly patient can lead to significant consequences, including dysphagia and need for skilled nursing care at discharge.


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