Structured Assessment

Not all patients presenting with neck pain following trauma will require imaging of their cervical spines, and the Emergency Physician should use a structured assessment to assist in identifying patients who require imaging.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) have published guidance on appropriate imaging for practice in England and Wales [4]. These are based on the Canadian Cervical Spine Rules [3].

Image: Taken from NICE Clinical Guideline 56. Head injury: triage, assessment, investigation and early management of head injury in infants, children and adults [4].

Click on the image to enlarge.