Cervical spine clearance in unconscious pediatric trauma patients: a level l trauma center experience

Saud Al-Sarheed, Jawaher Alwatban, Ali Alkhaibary, Yaser Babgi, Waleed Al-Mohamadi, Emad M. Masuadi, Ibrahim Al Babtain, Moutasem Azzubi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To radiographically assess cervical spine clearance in unconscious pediatric trauma patients. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted to review pediatric patients with suspected cervical spinal injuries between 2005 and 2018 at King Abdulaziz Medical City (KAMC), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. All pediatric patients aged 15 years and less, who sustained trauma (motor vehicle accident, pedestrian, fall, all-terrain vehicle accident, and sports injures) and were intubated at the scene or in the emergency department, were included. Results: A total of 62 patients were included. The average age for children was 8 ± 3.9 years. The average Glasgow coma scale (GCS) for children at initial trauma was 7.6 + 3.7. The average injury severity score (ISS) was 24.1 + 17.7. The most frequent abnormal finding identified on CT scan was cervical spine straightening (N = 8; 13.1%). A total of 13 children had abnormal MRI findings, with the most common injury being ligamentous in nature (N = 13; 46.42%). The sensitivity and specificity of CT scan in cervical spine clearance in unconscious children are 84.8% and 100%, respectively. Conclusion: Utilizing CT scans in clearing the cervical spine is of paramount importance to promptly detect possible injuries. The role of MRI in cervical spine clearance still cannot be undervalued, especially when the clinical suspicion for injury is high.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)811-817
Number of pages7
JournalChild's Nervous System
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Cervical
  • Injury
  • Intubation
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


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