An 18-year-old boy is brought into the emergency room after a diving accident. He is awake and alert, has intact cranial nerves, and is able to move his shoulders, but he cannot move his arms or legs. He is flaccid and has a sensory level at C5. Appropriate management includes which of the following?
a. Naloxone hydrochloride
b. Intravenous methylprednisolone
c. Oral dexamethasone
d. Phenytoin 100 mg tid
e. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
the answer is below…
The United States Medical Licensing Examination, or USMLE for short, is a three-part licensing examination that is required in order to receive a license to practice medicine within the United States.
The USMLE assesses a physician’s ability to apply knowledge, concepts, and principles, and to determine fundamental patient-centered skills that are important in health and disease and that constitute the basis of safe and effective patient care. Examination committees composed of medical educators and clinicians from across the United States and its territories prepare the examination materials each year.
This exam is designed by the Federation of State Medical Boards and the National Board of Medical Examiners to determine whether or not an individual understands and can apply the knowledge necessary to practice medicine safely and intelligently.
The USMLE is actually comprised of three different exams that are referred to as steps, which examine the individual’s knowledge of specific topics related to the field of medicine such as basic science, medical knowledge, medical skills, clinical science, and the application of all of these skills and areas of knowledge in the medical field.
All three steps of the USMLE include a series of computerized multiple-choice questions, but the format of the exam and the information covered in each multiple-choice section is different for each step of the USMLE. The USMLE Step II also has a clinical skills portion that examines an individual’s ability to work with real patients and the USMLE Step III has a computerized patient simulation portion in addition to the multiple-choice section of the exam. In order for an individual to receive a license to practice medicine, the individual must pass all three steps of the USMLE.
The correct answer is b; Intravenous methylprednisolone.
High-dose intravenous methylprednisolone [30-mg/kg intravenous bolus followed by 5.4 mg/(kgh) for 23 h] has been shown to have a statistically significant, if clinically modest, benefit on the outcome after spinal cord injury when given within 8 h of the injury.
Naloxone hydrochloride and other agents, such as GM1 ganglioside, have not been shown to be of benefit. The role of surgical decompression, removal of hemorrhage, and correction of bone displacement is controversial. Most American neurosurgeons do not advocate surgery, and instead propose external spinal fixation.