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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