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Epidemiological characteristics and early complications after spinal cord injury in Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

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STUDY DESIGN: Prospective cohort study OBJECTIVES: To describe epidemiological data and complications after acute traumatic spinal cord injury (tSCI) in Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

SETTING: University Clinic for Traumatology, Orthopedics, Anesthesia and Intensive Care Unit and Emergency Center (TOARILUC), Mother Teresa, Skopje, FYROM.

METHOD: During the inclusion period March 2015 to September 2016, 38 tSCI patients were included. MRI, CT scan, and clinical examinations including International Standards for Neurological Classification of SCI were performed at admission. The information included: demographic data, transport type, date of admission and discharge, past illnesses, addiction habits, cause and type of injury, injury level, associated injuries, injury-related complications, and mortality.

RESULTS: Mean age was 43 years (median 41, range 17-83). Seventeen patients had a complete and 15 an incomplete SCI, six were unknown. Most frequent causes for tSCI were traffic accidents (42%) and falls (40%), 24% of the accidents were contracted at work. Sixteen patients were ventilator dependent at some point during the acute period. Common complications were pressure ulcers, gastrointestinal-related, and infections. Hospital length of stay (LOS) ranged from 1 to 73 days. The in-hospital mortality rate was 32%.

CONCLUSION: The annual incidence of tSCI in FYROM was in 2015-16 13 persons/million inhabitants per year. The epidemiological profile of tSCI in FYROM implies that preventive measures should be taken to reduce incidence of accidents in traffic and at work places. The high mortality rate and complications underline further actions to improve the acute care of tSCI in FYROM.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSpinal Cord
Volume58
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)86-94
Number of pages9
ISSN1362-4393
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

ID: 58403165