Spine injuries are a medical emergency and can lead to permanent paralysis, chronic pain or even death. They occur as a result of a traumatic event such as accident or any other event that cause damage to the cells within the spinal cord. It may also occur when such events server the nerve tract that relays signals in the spinal cord. Other causes include bruising of the spine or severe compression that leads to pressure on the spine.
Major signs of spinal injuries
- Breathing difficulties
- Inability to move legs or arms
- Acute pain in the neck, back or head
- Loss of sensation just below where the injury occurred
- Loss of blander or bowel control
Even if a person fails to show any of the above signs, but understand that he or she has sustained head, back or neck injury, it is good to handle the case as a spinal injury. If you recognize the signs, it is advisable to seek for emergency help to boost the chances of recovery. If you have the skills, you can perform first aid for spinal injuries while paramedics are on the way.
What to do When Attending to Spinal Injury Victim
Here are some of the things you must do in case of spinal injuries
- Call 911 or other emergency medical services
- If the person must be moved from the place where the spinal injuries occurred, then on person should control the head and neck to ensure they are aligned. There should be other two people to lift the person and ensure that the spine is not moved.
- As you wait for emergency help, treat other major injuries that may have occurred.
- Ensure the victim is warm
- If the victim does not show any form of movements, breathing or coughing, you should begin CPR. Use the fingers to grasp the jaws gently and lift in forward during the process.
What not to do for Spinal Injuries
- Do not try to move the victim, unless he is in a very dangerous situation such as near the fire, traffic or you want to carry out CPR.
- If the injury occurred when the person was in the water, you should not move him or her to land. Let him lay facing up until emergency help arrives.
- You should also not remove helmet, unless you want to conduct CPR.
- Another mistake you should avoid is to give the victim anything to drink or eat.