Model System

Model System

We are one of only 14 U.S. institutions to be selected as a Spinal Cord Injury Model System by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), and are part of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Department of Rehabilitation.

The Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Model System was created as collaborative research, and provides information and resources to individuals with SCI, their family and care givers, health care professionals and the general public.

Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems Data Center directs the collection, management, and analysis of a longitudinal national SCI database.

What is New in the South Florida SCI Model System

As of May 2016, South Florida SCI Model System has completed 176 new patients for the cycle 2011-2016.

Since the initial data collection, the Model system has found that the main cause of death in the whole population with Spinal Cord Injury is Diseases of the Respiratory System. (21.7%) [Pneumonia 67.7%], followed by infective and parasitic diseases (11.8%) and Cancer (9%). Of the infective and parasitic diseases, 89.3% were cases of septicemia and were associated with decubitus ulcers, urinary tract or respiratory infections. (NSCISC Annual Statistical Report 2015)

It is estimated that the annual incidence of spinal cord injury (SCI), not including those who die at the scene of the accident, is approximately 12,000 new cases each year. Because there have not been any incidence studies of SCI in the U.S. since the 1990’s it is not known if incidence has changed in recent years.

New Book by UM Experts Explores Complications in Patients Undergoing Medical Rehabilitation

With more than three decades of experience, Diana D. Cardenas M.D., M.H.A., emeritus professor of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, knows the many medical complications that may occur in patients undergoing medical rehabilitation.

People admitted to in-patient rehabilitation for injuries to the brain, spinal cord or even cancer recovery can develop fevers, pneumonia, urinary tract infection (UTI), and other complications that require specialized medical attention.

In her book Medical Complications in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Cardenas has teamed up with her husband, Thomas M. Hooton, M.D., professor of clinical medicine and Associate Chief of Staff of the Medical Service at the Miami VA, and a host of other Miller School physicians to explore the most common medical complications for major rehabilitation diagnoses, as well as effective prevention and treatments.