Paediatric Palliative Care Guidelines
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Edition/Revision: 1.0
Archived

Spinal cord compression - Archived

Pathophysiology
  • Usually a complication of cancer.
  • Can occur as a result of soft tissue expansion or sudden vertebral collapse.
  • In children, onset often insidious.
  • Classically sudden onset of back pain, but see below.
  • Neurological symptoms, particularly loss of bladder or bowel control.
  • Unexplained lack of mobility.
  • In children, onset is typically more insidious than in adults and classic symptoms and signs may not appear.
Management
  • Depends on situation.
  • Urgent reduction of tumour oedema with high dose Dexamethasone.
  • Reduction of tumour mass through radiation or emergency debulking surgery.
  • Outcome for neurological recovery is poor if symptoms have been present for more than 48 hours.
  • In practice, cord compression in children is typically non acute, and it is common for there to be no neurological recovery in the palliative situation.
Edition/Revision: 1.0
Created 18 Jul 2013 - Archived
Validated 19 Jul 2013 by Ian Back
Last modified 2 Apr 2020
Sat 04 Apr 2020 06:18:37 GMT +0100 (DST)
Last modified 2 Apr 2020