Mohamed Alhashash, Walaa Elsebaiy, Mohamed Farag, Mootaz Shousha

February 2021, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 468 - 474 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-020-06625-y

First Online: 23 October 2020

Emergency surgical management of cervical spine fracture-dislocation with acute paraplegia in COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease 2019)-suspected patient: first experience from a German spine centre


We present an organized hospital plan for the management of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients requiring emergency surgical interventions. To introduce a multidisciplinary approach for the management of COVID-19-infected patients and to report the first operated patient in the Corona unit.


A detailed presentation of the hospital plan for a separate Corona unit with its intensive care unit and operating rooms. Description of the management of the first spine surgery case treated in this unit.


The Corona unit showed a practical approach for the management of an emergency cervical spine fracture-dislocation with acute paralysis. The patient is 92-year-old female. The mechanism of injury was a simple fall during the stay in the internal medicine department where the patient was treated in the referring hospital. The patient had no other injuries and was awake and oriented. The patient did not have the clinical symptom of COVID-19, and the test result of COVID-19 done in the referring hospital was not available on admission in our emergency room. Education of the medical staff and organization of the operating theatre facilitated the management of the patient without an increased risk of spreading the infection.


The current COVID-19 pandemic requires an extra-ordinary organization of the medical and surgical care of the patients. It is possible to manage an infected or a potentially infected patient surgically, but a multidisciplinary plan is necessary to protect other patients and the medical staff.

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