EMS Management of Patients with Potential Spinal Injury

Spinal motion restriction should be considered for patients who meet validated indications such as the NEXUS criteria or Canadian C-Spine rules. Spinal motion restriction should be considered for patients with plausible blunt mechanism of injury and any of the following:

  • Altered level of consciousness or clinical intoxication
  • Mid-line spinal pain and/or tenderness
  • Focal neurologic signs and /or symptoms (e.g., numbness and/or motor weakness)
  • Anatomic deformity of the spine
  • Distracting injury