Spinal Injury Can Lead To Paralysis; Know First Aid To Stabilise This Emergency
Spinal injury is a high medical emergency priority. These spinal injuries can be a cause for impairment to any other body part, therefore first aid should carefully and immediately be given to the victim.
First Aid steps for a spinal injury:
- DO NOT move the patient unless it is life threatening.
- DO NOT bend or try to move the patient. Specifically do not move the patient’s neck or head, or body
- Try maintaining the position of the patient’s body as found.
- Immobilise the patient’s head, neck, shoulders, and waist with the support of towels, blankets, or clothing rolled up and placed around the body parts.
- If the patient has to be absolutely moved then with the help of another person, then keep the patient’s head, waist, and legs in a straight line when turning the patient.
- If the patient is not breathing, then begin CPR but DO NOT lift the chin of the patient for opening the airway as is usually done in performing CPR.
Signs & symptoms to identify spinal injury:
- Extreme or growing pain at the site of the injury or even below the site of that injury.
- A loss of sensation that can be at or near the site of injury, or in the hands and feet.
- There might be an abnormal sensation in the hands and feet such as a tingling feeling.
- Twitching of muscles in the arms can be a sign as there might have been a damage to the nerve.
- Movement impairment or complete loss of movement at the site of the injury.
- Possibility of impaired or no movement at all of another body part due to the injury.
Precautions while giving first aid for a spinal injury:
- Always be extremely careful when moving or handling a victim of a spinal injury at all times. Alignment of the head, neck and spine should be maintained with utmost care.
- Remember that if a person is unconscious because of a head injury, then it should always be suspected that there can be a spinal injury.
Important – Immediately contact the nearest hospital or seek medical help if the condition is life threatening and/or the patient is unconscious.
Please Note – This tutorial does not substitute a formal training in Basic Life Saving Procedures or First Aid Procedures given by a licensed practitioner.
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