Not enough is known concerning the epidemiology of spinal cord injuries in Italy. Information of this kind is fundamental to the planning of adequate preventive measures and treatment of such pathologies. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the characteristics of spinal injury patients admitted to 7 Italian rehabilitation centers. The study, of retrospective design, involved patients who were consecutively admitted to the 7 participating Centers from 1989 through 1994. A total of 1165 spinal cord injuries patients were evaluated, of whom 638 (54.76%), in the post-acute phase, were evaluated on admission for early rehabilitation treatment, while 527 (45.24%) were seen at a successive admission. The average age of the patients was 34.42 years (SD 15.51). The most common causes of injury were road accidents (57.99%) and work-related accidents (15.52%). Overall, 63.94% of the patients had dorsolumbar lesions. The mean time since injury was 55.90 days (SD 48.94). The mean length of stay in hospital was 143.11 days (SD 89.08). At discharge 5.20% of the patients were using indwelling catheters. Overall, 83.70% of the patients were able to return to their own homes, while the rest were referred to health-care facilities of various kind. The resultant data underscore the fundamental importance of greater respect for the highway code. They also highlight the need to organize rehabilitation structures in Italy, for the specific treatment of spinal cord injuries.
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - 1996|
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