Over 400 entries across 10 Categories were submitted for the Patient Safety Awards in 2012 and "Developing an early alert system for metastatic spinal cord compression" was one of only six projects shortlisted under "Patient Safety in Diagnosis".
Back pain is a very common condition. One in every 7500 back pain patients will have Metastatic Spinal Cord Compression (MSCC). Although the proportion of back pain sufferers presenting with serious spinal diseases is small, a delay in diagnosis of MSCC can have serious consequences. It can result in prolonged, stubborn pain and suffering, complications such as paraplegia and double incontinence, a low quality of life and reduced survival rate.
Teamwork between Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, Greater Manchester and Cheshire Cancer Network, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and UCLan has resulted in the first alert system for metastatic spinal cord compression. This partnership working resulted in the production of a comprehensive list of eight – specific Red Flags, targeted towards improving patient’s survival rate and cord-status, printed in a handy credit-card sized format to facilitate clinical access.
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