Adherence to Canadian C-Spine Rule in a regional hospital: a retrospective study of 406 cases

Paxton, Mark, Heal, Clare F., and Drobetz, Herwig (2012) Adherence to Canadian C-Spine Rule in a regional hospital: a retrospective study of 406 cases. Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology, 56 (5). pp. 514-518.

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Introduction: Cervical spine radiography may be over-utilised in an emergency department setting. The Canadian C-Spine Rule has been developed to reduce unnecessary radiography. Our aim was to retrospectively determine the proportion of cervical spine radiographs requested through the emergency department for trauma patients that were clinically indicated, according to the Canadian C-Spine Rule.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional survey conducted at a regional centre in Northern Queensland, Australia. All cervical spine radiographs for trauma, performed at the Mackay Base Hospital from 1 January 2009 to the 31 December 2009, were reviewed. The relevant patient charts were audited for evidence of indications for radiography.

Results: Of 406 patients in the study, 155 patients (38%) (95% confidence interval 33.3%, 42.7%) had cervical spine imaging performed that was not indicated according to the Canadian C-Spine Rule. None of these patients had a significant cervical spine injury on radiography.

Conclusion: Applying the Canadian C-Spine Rule would have safely reduced the incidence of cervical spine radiography by 38%. This would also reduce costs, patient morbidity and radiation exposure.

Item ID: 24151
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1754-9477
Keywords: Canadian C-Spine Rule, cervical spine, imaging, radiography, trauma
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2012 05:28
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110320 Radiology and Organ Imaging @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920203 Diagnostic Methods @ 100%
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