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Papers And Originals

Prognosis in Tetraplegia

Br Med J 1968; 4 doi: (Published 12 October 1968) Cite this as: Br Med J 1968;4:79
  1. J. R. Silver,
  2. N. O. K. Gibbon


    A total of 141 cases of traumatic tetraplegia were admitted to the Liverpool Paraplegic Centre between 1947 and 1967. Most of the deaths occurred within three months of injury, and comparison with other centres suggests that the early mortality could be reduced by more use of mechanical respirators.

    Urological complaints and pressure sores are hazards that can be overcome by careful attention to nursing procedures. Later deaths are more common among patients transferred from the unit to hostels or hospitals than among patients transferred home. Specialist units for these patients improve the quality of their lives as well as their expectation of life. Electronic equipment can also play a large part in helping tetraplegics to play a part in community life.