A university student went to sleep drunk and woke up in hospital paralysed from the neck down – after falling more nearly four feet from his dorm bed.
When Kei Usami, 20, fell from the school-supplied ‘loft’ bed at Fordham University, he smacked his head so hard that the impact fractured his spine.
Now a law suit has been brought against the Bronx campus for neglecting to install guardrails along the side of the bed.
I did a Google Images search for bunk bed, which is not remotely a scientific sampling. In the first 10 pages of results, I could not find a single image of a bunk bed without some type of rail on the upper bunk. None. Has this become an industry standard? None of them were listed as ideal for drunk college students, either.
The reason I am writing about this is –
Mr Usami, who played tennis for the university, was then taken by the university’s volunteer EMS team to hospital – without a neck brace.
These actions led to the student becoming paralysed from the neck down, according to his lawyer, Vito Cannavo.
People will point to this case and claim that –
If only he had been immobilized, he would be saved from paralysis!
That claim is complete nonsense.
Where is there any evidence that immobilization leads to improved outcomes for patients with unstable spinal fractures?
This is an example of the logical mistake of assuming that because he was not immobilized, he is paralyzed.
He is able to move his left arm. Why do we assume that he would still be able to move even his left arm after being strapped to a board with a rigid cervical collar placed around his neck?
What do drunk college students do when you try to immobilize them?
They push against the restraints. There is absolutely no reason to expect that there would be any kind of good outcome with Mr. Usami trying to move his against the restraints of a rigid collar and straps. But this is the Standard Of
Care Abuse that has become traditional in so many places.
Maybe we need a Hamlet to change things –
But to my mind, though I am native here
And to the manner born, it is a custom
More honor’d in the breach than the observance,
We need to stop harming our patients by performing rituals on them, just because they are traditional (the Standard Of
The only research we have shows that immobilization doubles the rate of disability from unstable spinal injuries –
The OR for disability was higher for patients in the United States (all with spinal immobilization) after adjustment for the effect of all other independent variables (2.03; 95% CI 1.03-3.99; p = 0.04).
There was less neurologic disability in the unimmobilized Malaysian patients (OR 2.03; 95% CI 1.03-3.99; p = 0.04).
For a person with a spinal injury, being immobilized doubles the likelihood of being disabled.
There is no good evidence to demonstrate that immobilization is safe.
We need to demand research to demonstrate that spinal immobilization is safe.
We need to stop immobilizing patients.
We are the ignorant barbers of medieval times. We just pretend that we know what we are doing.
We cannot ethically continue to immobilize patients with absolutely no evidence of safety, but with evidence of harm.
We have too much respect for tradition (the Standard Of
Care Abuse), but not enough respect for our patients.
 Paralysed in his sleep: Drunk university tennis star unable to move from neck down after falling from 4ft dorm bed
By Lydia Warren
Last updated at 7:01 PM on 14th November 2011
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2061366/Drunk-university-tennis-star-left-unable-falling-foot-dorm-bed.html#ixzz1dmqHVEHD