Timely action and proper stabilisation crucial for managing spinal cord injuries: Doctors

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New Delhi, Jul 7 (PTI) Immediate action and proper stabilisation are crucial for managing spinal cord injuries, neurosurgeons said, calling for more efforts by medical professionals and policymakers to ensure timely and adequate treatment to patients.

They also pointed out that among the injuries that people suffer in road accidents, spinal injuries are a leading cause of disability, which, the doctors said, largely stems from insufficient and delayed medical management.

"Timely stabilisation lays the groundwork for further treatment, improving prospects for rehabilitation and functional restoration," Senior director of neurosurgery at the Max Super Speciality Hospital in Vaishali Dr. Manish Vaish said.

He said it is crucial for medical professionals and caregivers to understand the urgency and significance of interventions in minimising long-term disability and optimising patient outcomes. "Immediate action and proper stabilisation are pivotal in managing spinal cord injuries," Vaish said and added that "techniques such as immobilisation, traction and surgical interventions are vital to prevent worsening (of condition) and enhance recovery".

Senior consultant at Sushrut Brain and Spine, Delhi, Dr. Yashpal Singh Bundela said that time is of the essence spinal cord injury cases.

"Every minute lost translates to potential neurological damage. Our immediate focus is on stabilising the spine and minimising pressure on the cord. Sometimes surgery is necessary to remove compressing elements. Once that initial window passes, we shift gears to rehabilitation. Physical and occupational therapists become our partners in helping patients regain strength, retrain muscles, and maximise their long-term function," he said.

Spinal cord injuries are complex but with prompt medical attention and a dedicated rehabilitation programme, significant recovery is possible, Bundela said.

Dr. Vaish said spinal cord injuries are a growing concern in India. Public awareness campaigns can help people recognise symptoms and seek immediate medical attention, he said.

Equipping first responders with the knowledge and tools to handle such injuries on the spot is crucial, he said and added that expanding access to specialised spinal cord care throughout the country is essential.

By working together, medical professionals, policymakers and the people can improve outcomes for those living with spinal cord injuries, the doctors said. PTI PLB ANB ANB

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