When a healthcare professional identifies an individual with a spinal cord injury or disability contact the Arkansas Spinal Cord Commission to make a referral. It is better to refer someone who is not eligible than not to refer someone who is eligible for services. ASCC Case Managers will complete eligibility determination.
To make a referral complete the ASCC referral form and submit by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), fax, contact the regional Case Management offices or call the ASCC administrative office at 501-296-1788 or 800-459-1517 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. A confidential fax is available 24 hours a day at 501-296-1787.
Once an individual is determined to have a spinal cord injury/disability the ASCC Medical criteria are applied. The medical criteria assess the disability or limitations in function resulting from the spinal cord damage. For the purpose of determining medical eligibility the four criteria listed below are used. An individual must have at least three of the following symptoms. Medical records or information will be used to verify these criteria:
Lack of Normal Motor Control / Paralysis - A lack of normal voluntary motor function. There should be enough weakness and/or spasticity to significantly interfere with normal self-care activities and/or mobility. In most cases this will require the use of a wheelchair, scooter, walker, braces (including AFOs, KAFOS), crutches or cane for mobility. In some cases, particularly those with a diagnosis of central cord syndrome, the paralysis may be more severe in the arms and hands than in the legs to the point that adaptive devices or assistance is required for completing activities of daily living such as feeding, dressing, and hygiene.
Lack of Normal Sensation - A lack of normal sensation at or below the level of lesion that results in absent or impaired ability to discern touch, pressure, pain (the ability to tell sharp from dull), or temperature (the ability to tell hot from cold). The individual should have enough loss of sensation to have more than normal risk to skin and musculoskeletal structures.
Loss of Normal Bladder Control - The lack of ability to voluntarily empty the bladder in a timely manner without accidents or use of equipment or medication. Frequently, individuals with spinal cord injury will present with a neurogenic bladder. When this condition is present, it is usually obvious with symptoms of either urinary incontinence (involuntary voiding) or urinary retention (inability to void). However, with minimal spinal cord damage, the symptoms may be subtler.
Loss of Normal Bowel Control - The lack of ability to voluntarily empty the bowel in a timely manner without accidents or use of equipment or medication. Frequently, individuals with damage to the spinal cord will present with a neurogenic bowel.