Spinal Cord Injury Nurse Advice Line

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Peer-reviewed fact sheets and videos designed to help people living with spinal cord injuries manage daily care and maximize independence by medical and clinical experts in SCI care, patient education, and research. Information provided undergoes systematic review from medical experts to ensure accuracy and currency with best-practice research.

Sources include the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab’s LIFE Center and the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center which both provide fact sheets on topics specific to spinal cord injury – anatomy and physiology, nerve function, and levels of injury. Understand common terms such as paraplegia, quadriplegia, tetraplegia, complete and incomplete injuries.

Discover best-practice techniques in mobility and safe transfers, information on bowel and bladder function, surgical alternatives for bladder management, skin care and pressure sores, respiratory health, autonomic dysreflexia, spasticity, and pain management. Find additional information on maintenance of manual and power wheelchairs, exercise after spinal cord injury, options for adaptive sports and recreation, tips to minimize depression, and adjustment to life after spinal cord injury.   

Fact sheets to support social and emotional wellness include topics on sexuality, dating and relationships, employment and education, peer support, and managing caregiver stress.

Spinal Cord Injury Nurse Advice Line

The Spinal Cord Injury Nurse Advice Line is a phone service provided by the outpatient clinic at Craig Hospital, a Model Systems Hospital for people with spinal cord injury. This service provides a dedicated nurse to answer non-emergent calls Monday-Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Nurses at Craig Hospital have the experience to help identify potential complications before they become serious health issues. Two common health concerns are neurogenic bowel or bladder problems and skin issues, both of which can cause major health problems for people living with Spinal Cord Injury if not caught early. In addition to answering health-related questions, callers can obtain educational resources unique for healthy living with this injury.

If you have questions regarding the three following areas, call 800-247-0257 or 303-789-8508 Monday-Friday from 9am to 4pm (MST).

1. A non-emergency medical question arises that does not warrant a trip to the doctor’s office, yet needs answered.

2. Experiencing changes in care and wondering whether it is “normal?”

3. A new caregiver arrives and needs education materials to help in the transition.