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Anesthésie du patient avec traumatisme du rachis cervical [Anesthesia of patients with injury to the cervical spine]
Annales Françaises d'Anesthésie et de Réanimation
This paper reviews the principal aspects of the immediate management of patients suffering from spinal injury. An understanding of the pathophysiology of primary and secondary spinal cord injury enables appropriate initial care to be provided, thereby avoiding exacerbation and/or progressive deterioration of the lesion. It includes protective measures, restoration of vital functions to maintain adequate tissue perfusion and oxygenation, as well as pharmacological prevention of secondary injury. Protective measures include proper immobilisation of the spine with a semi-rigid collar and tape on a long backboard, or on vacuum mattress, taking great care to avoid deleterious in-line compression forces on the spinal column. The combination of cervical spine instability, a full stomach, unopposed vagal reflexes, hypoxia and hypercarbia makes airway management of these patients difficult. Tracheal intubation under fibroscopic control, with insertion of the tube only after topical anaesthesia of the airways under titrated intravenous sedation, offers safety and comfort to the patient. However, in cases of severe deterioration of vital functions, intubation must be performed without any delay at the site of the accident or in the emergency room. Three options are available: blind naso-tracheal intubation with spontaneous breathing, modified rapid sequence induction with orotracheal intubation under double protection, and immediate surgical airway if these techniques fail. Patients with cervical spine injury may demonstrate severe hypotension requiring sympathomimetic agents and careful fluid loading to avoid pulmonary oedema. To prevent aggravation of the spinal cord injury by systemic factors, the goal of initial resuscitation is to restore an adequate perfusion pressure of at least 60 mmHg, a PaO2 > 100 mmHg, and to keep PaCO2 below 45 mmHg.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Adult, Anesthesia/methods, Cervical Vertebrae, Emergencies, Female, Hemodynamics, Humans, Intubation, Intratracheal/methods, Male, Respiratory Insufficiency/etiology, Respiratory Insufficiency/therapy, Resuscitation/methods, Spinal Cord Injuries/complications, Spinal Cord Injuries/physiopathology, Spinal Injuries/complications, Spinal Injuries/physiopathology
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