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We present data from recently conducted research regarding the diagnosis of blunt cervical spine injury (CSI) in children. Research in the prehospital setting to evaluate the need for cervical spine immobilization in children, regardless of clinical findings or mechanism of injury, suggests that low-risk prediction rules may be safely utilized by prehospital providers, although more data is needed. Their size, developing skeleton and unique anatomy leave children vulnerable to particular injury patterns, namely cephalad bony fractures and ligamentous and spinal cord injuries without radiographic abnormality. Low-risk clinical prediction rules have been developed but need to be further validated. For those children at higher risk of CSI, diagnostic imaging strategies are evolving, with computed tomography and MRI becoming more prominent. Evidence in the management of children with CSI has expanded in recent years, but further large prospective studies are needed. We present a review of some recent developments influencing clinical practice.

Citation

Lindsey Tilt, John Babineau, Daniel Fenster, Faiz Ahmad, Cindy G Roskind. Blunt cervical spine injury in children. Current opinion in pediatrics. 2012 Jun;24(3):301-6

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PMID: 22491490

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