Who is treated in the Spinal Cord Injury Program at Kennedy Krieger?

During fiscal year 2019*, 568 adults with spinal cord injuries were treated by the Spinal Cord Injury Program. Fifty-eight percent of those patients were male and 42% were female.

Below is the age breakdown of those patients:

A pie chart depicting the age breakdown of patients treated in the Spinal Cord Injury Program at Kennedy Krieger during FY 2019

Diagnoses Treated

The Spinal Cord Injury Program treats adults who, collectively, have a variety of diagnoses.

Below is a breakdown of the most common diagnoses treated by the Spinal Cord Injury Program:

A pie chart depicting the breakdown of diagnoses treated by the Spinal Cord Injury Program at Kennedy Krieger during FY 2019

Types of Patients Treated

Patients who are admitted to the Spinal Cord Injury Program have limitations in at least one of the following areas: moving around, performing daily self-care activities, engaging in activities of daily living (doing chores, eating), and participating in home, school and community activities.

  • Patients who are admitted to the Spinal Cord Injury Program must be medically stable and able to participate in at least three hours of therapy per day.
  • Patients with tracheostomies and those requiring mechanical ventilation or diaphragm pacing systems are welcome on the inpatient unit.

Interdisciplinary Treatment Team

Patients with spinal cord injury may have complex needs. An experienced interdisciplinary treatment team works with every patient and his or her family.

This team may include:

  • Adaptive aquatic specialists
  • Assistive technology professionals
  • Nurse care managers
  • Nurses
  • Occupational therapists
  • Orthotists
  • Personal trainers
  • Physiatrists
  • Physical therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Registered nurses
  • Seating and mobility specialists
  • Social workers

When appropriate, the providers will refer patients to additional medical services at Johns Hopkins Hospital or other hospitals with expertise in the care of individuals with spinal cord injuries.

Where do patients live who are seen by the Spinal Cord Injury Program ?

Patients come from all 50 states and more than 40 countries.

How much therapy do patients receive while being treated in the Spinal Cord Injury Program ?

In the medically supervised outpatient therapy program, therapists work one-on-one with patients, focusing on achievement of goals set by the patient, physician and therapist.

The Spinal Cord Injury Program offers two unique therapy options:

  • Short-term intensive therapy:
    In this five-day-a-week program, patients attend therapy for two to three weeks and receive a minimum of three hours of therapy each day.
     
  • Extended intensive therapy:
  • In this program, patients attend therapy one to three times per week for eight to 12 weeks, and receive a minimum of three hours of therapy per session.

In addition, specialized Aquatic Therapy is available with either therapy option. This specialized therapy features innovative pools with multiple jets, built-in treadmills, video systems, and floors that operate on lifts to allow barrier-free entry and exit for patients in wheelchairs.

What happens if a patient gets acutely sick or has a medical emergency while an inpatient at Kennedy Krieger?

Kennedy Krieger has Advanced Life Support-certified medical staff members and nurses on-site 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with the equipment and processes in place to respond to medical emergencies. Due to our proximity to and affiliation with The Johns Hopkins Hospital, we are able to admit patients with intensive, but stable medical needs, such as those requiring a ventilator for breathing.

Occasionally, these more intensive medical needs require unplanned transfers to acute care. However, no patients had medical emergencies requiring transfer to The Johns Hopkins Hospital in 2018 or 2019.

How are patients and their families involved in the care they receive from the Spinal Cord Injury Program ?

No one knows a patient better than his or her family. Kennedy Krieger providers are committed to incorporating family-centered care. The best way to care for a patient is to include his or her family in the patient’s healthcare team. Family members are encouraged to participate in treatment planning, goal setting, family meetings, and education and training sessions.

What kinds of improvements might patients receiving treatment from the Spinal Cord Injury Program be expected to make?

In fiscal year 2019:

  • 84 percent of patients surveyed completed their outpatient therapy program without interruption
  • 87 percent of patients are independent or showed improvement in functional mobility, activities of daily living, or strength during their admission
  • 100 percent of patients surveyed remained living in the community
  • 87 percent of patients indicated that they are participating in school, work, or leisure activities during the past year

What do patients and their families say about their experience at the Spinal Cord Injury Program ?

During fiscal year 2019:

  • 100 percent of persons surveyed would recommend ICSCI to another patient with paralysis
  • 100 percent would rate their experience at Kennedy Krieger Institute as good or excellent
  • 100 percent would rate the care provided by their physician as good or excellent
  • 100 percent would rate their therapy services as good or excellent

Does Kennedy Krieger have special accreditation?

Kennedy Krieger Institute is accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and The Joint Commission. Every three years, both organizations review the Institute to ensure all its programs meet or exceed the very high standards it sets for the care of its patients.
 

*Fiscal year 2019 is the time frame from July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019.