The Rapid Reduction NetworkWork in progress
Following a Constitutional Court judgement made in 2015 there is now a legal precedence to support a four hour cut-off time for the reduction of low velocity cervical vertebra dislocation. Meaning that a lack of effort to reduce a dislocated neck within four hours will open the door to medico-legal claims against a hospital, ER doctors and the applicable spinal consultant specialists.
Currently in South Africa if a spinal cord injury takes place, there is no regulated protocol in the hospital or with emergency units for the process to follow upon receiving such a patient. There is no centre of excellence network or system that can identify the best medical units or hospitals in a certain geographical area in order to immediate identify where to take the patient to secure treatment within the four hours.
Time is everything, as successful reduction, within this period can substantially increase the patient’s chances of a less severe disability or can even assist in ensuring full recovery.
Together with a network of specialists and medical service providers the Players’ Fund is advocating for the following actions and changes within the affected networks:
- The creation of an official, regulated guideline or protocol for treatment in hospital or emergency unit for low velocity cervical dislocation regardless of cause.
- The creation of a network of preferred hospitals or service providers that is approved and regulated and shared with all parties by the Department of Health.
- Awareness of the four-hour rule and the positive impact of timely treatment.
The goals and objectives of the Rapid Reduction Network Advocacy team are:
- Identify and draft a national guideline/protocol for rapid closed reduction of low velocity cervical spine dislocations in SA.
- Create a centre of excellence networks of preferred emergency medical centres. First process to start is within a private hospital network – e.g. Mediclinic.
- Advocate and gather support for guidelines to be officially accepted by provincial government in the Western Cape.
- Advocate and gather support for guidelines to be officially accepted by private hospital groups/medical aids.
- Create a centre of excellence networks of preferred emergency medical centres. Second process to focus on provincial service providers. Possible pilot project to be considered in the Western Cape utilizing existing.
- Advocate and gather support for guidelines to be officially accepted by national government.
- Create a centre of excellence networks of preferred emergency medical centres. Third process to focus on national service providers.
- Research component – Monitor and evaluate the impact of guidelines and centre of excellence network to show benefits to acute and the long-term health of injured patients. Identify researcher with project commencement.
- Reduce the cost of health care needs spanning a lifetime.