N005 – PRM Programme for Spinal Cord Injury and Trauma

Accredited in September 2010

Dr Rajmond ŠAVRIN, M.D., M.Sc
Head of unit
Department of Rehabilitation of Persons with Spinal Cord Lesions
University Rehabilitation Institute
Linhartova 51
SI-1000 Ljubljana
Phone: + 386 1 4758 367
Board certification 2008

Full text description (PDF file)


The programme of rehabilitation of persons with spinal cord injury in Slovenia conducted at the department for rehabilitation of patients with spinal cord injury at the University Rehabilitation Institute in Ljubljana is the only such programme in Slovenia. The department treats patients after injury as well as patients with various spinal cord diseases and their consequences such as tetraplegia/tetraparesis or paraplegia/paraparesis. Patients after trauma receive their primary care at the closest regional hospital and are transferred within 24 hours to one of the three trauma centres in Slovenia, where they are treated surgically as well as receive their early rehabilitation. Patients with spinal cord diseases are treated at the departments for neurology, neurosurgery, orthopaedics, infectious diseases, vascular diseases, oncology and other departments in Slovenian hospitals. Patients are admitted to the University Rehabilitation Institute Soča two to four weeks after trauma depending on their condition and the level of injury. The average rehabilitation programme length is 2 to 4 months for persons with paraplegia and 3 to 7 months for persons with tetraplegia. Patients are treated by a team and life-long out-patient follow-up is carried out after the programme conclusion. There is direct communication between the acute care departments and the rehabilitation department of URI Soča, the physicians agree on the patient’s transfer and each patient is entitled to the programme of rehabilitation which has no time limit imposed by the insurance system.

The patients are selected for rehabilitation on the basis of admission criteria. The selection of patients for rehabilitation programmes at the University Rehabilitation Institute is done by PRM specialists on the basis of a written proposal by PRM specialists or other specialists in Slovenian hospitals or after an examination at the Outpatient Clinic for SCI patients at the University Rehabilitation Institute. The unit for rehabilitation of patients with spinal cord injury has 31 beds for inpatient care. It is a part of University Rehabilitation Institute in Ljubljana and is the only such department in Slovenia. About 80 new SCI patients after trauma or disease of spinal cord are admitted yearly. There is a large outpatient clinic responsible for the admission and follow-up of SCI patients. The unit and the Institute are under the authority of the Ministry of Health, Republic of Slovenia and the rehabilitation programme for the patients is paid completely by National Health Insurance. The SCI department got a certificate ISO 9001:2000 in 2009. There are 2 full-time PRM specialists, 5 physiotherapists, 3 occupational therapists, 2 university college graduated nurses, 20 nursing staff and one part-time working psychologist and social worker. The multidisciplinary team meets regularly once weekly. There are ASIA, SCIM, FIM, FIC, 10MWT, 6MWT, BBS, COPM and MMT regularly recorded and a clinical pathway is used for planning and evaluation of the rehabilitation programme.