Visiting the Hospital
In the days immediately after the accident, surgery or illness that has caused your relative’s SCI, they may be in a District General Hospital (DGH), not in a specialist spinal cord injury centre (SCI Centre).
It is important that the injured person’s condition is assessed for them to be well enough to travel and that injuries, which could be life-threatening, are dealt with first before a transfer is made to an SCI Centre.
Your role may be to encourage the staff in the DGH to be in touch with the nearest SCI Centre and seek their advice about specialist treatment and action that can be taken in the early days.
The Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) publishes three books, written for non-specialist healthcare professionals, which may be useful for you to know about and recommend to staff in a general hospital.
Managing Spinal Injuries: The First 48 hours
Managing Spinal Injuries: HDU Critical Care
Managing Spinal Injuries: Continuing Care
Find out more and place your order on the SIA website (www.spinal.co.uk)
Getting to know the staff and finding your way around
You will become familiar with the names and faces of doctors and nurses working on the ward you are visiting very quickly, even if initially you find it a bit exhausting and stressful.
Make sure you know where to park at the hospital and where you can get something to eat and drink when you need to. Look after yourself too!
Use the links in the menu table to gather information that you will find helpful.