The first delivered report marks the completion of the Complications Audit of Urological Issues in Spinal Cord Injury Evaluation Study (CAUSES).
CAUSES formed part of a suite of projects looking to improve bladder health after Spinal Cord Injury (SCI). It questioned whether choices made during the acute stage (immediately after SCI) impact on bladder complications down the track, especially as regards the standard practice of inserting an indwelling catheter into the bladder after injury.
Among other discoveries, this final report confirms that there is a very high rate of UTI incidence in the recently injured SCI population at the Austin, and that the most likely cause of this is the use of IDCs. These catheters provide optimal conditions for bacteria to grow and flourish.
This report adds to the pool of evidence supporting the earlier removal of IDCs and will help to inform best practice in this area.
The second report was delivered by a research team evaluating how hospitals measure nutrition after SCI.
To date, dietitians have measured nutritional needs of SCI patients using the Schofield Equation, but there was concern that this method had never been appropriately validated.
This research team tested the equation against several other options for measuring nutrition, and found that it yielded inaccurate estimates and should not be used.
The team's final report indicates that all the other measurement techniques are more accurate, including the most practical option of Bioelectrical Impedance Spectroscopy (BIS), a measure that can be more easily implemented using bedside portable equipment.
This measure has already been adopted by dieticians at the Victorian Spinal Cord Service.