Once on an ED stretcher, it is not unusual for these patients to remain with full immobilization for several hours until c-spine radiographs or computed tomography can be performed and interpreted. As
well, efforts to obtain satisfactory c-spine radiographs often require repeated attempts. This consumes RAD001 valuable time for physicians, nurses, and radiology technicians and distracts them from other urgent responsibilities [15,42]. In addition, this delay compounds the burden of our crowded Canadian EDs in an era when they are under Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical unprecedented pressures [42-44]. The median length Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical of stay for a patient evaluated in the stretcher area is approximately eight to 12 hours, whereas similar minor trauma victims arriving without immobilization can be evaluated and discharged in less than four hours from the waiting room area. Clinical decision rules Without the support of widely accepted guidelines, paramedics are likely to continue to immobilize all minor trauma victims. Clinical decision (or prediction) rules help to reduce the uncertainty Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical of medical decision-making by standardizing
the collection and interpretation of clinical data [45-48]. A decision rule is derived from original research and may be defined as a decision-making tool that incorporates three or more variables from the history, physical examination, or simple tests. These decision rules help clinicians with bedside diagnostic or therapeutic decisions. To fully develop a clinically effective rule is a lengthy process Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical that involves separate studies to derive, prospectively validate, and finally implement the rule. The methodological
standards for the derivation and validation of decision rules are well described [49-52]. Implementation to demonstrate the Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical true effect on patient care is the ultimate test of a decision rule . Unfortunately, many clinical decision rules are not prospectively assessed to determine their accuracy, reliability, clinical sensibility, Suplatast tosilate or potential impact on practice. This evaluation is critical because many statistically derived rules or guidelines fail to perform well when tested in a new population [54-56]. The reason for this performance failure may be statistical, i.e., overfitting or instability of the original derived model , or may be due to differences in prevalence of disease or differences in how the decision rule is applied [58,59]. Most decision rules are never used after derivation because they are not adequately tested in validation or implementation studies [60-62].