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What To Do If A Spinal Injury Occurs

Person holding back in pain

Your spinal cord is the conduit through which your entire body communicates with your brain, and any injury it may sustain can have serious repercussions. When you think a spinal injury may have occurred, it’s imperative that you take the proper steps to ensure no further damage occurs until medical assistance arrives. Below are a series of First Aid treatments you can do for those you suspect might have experienced a spinal cord injury.

Immobility Is Critical

The first and most essential first aid step is to ensure the head and neck don’t move. Don’t straighten it or change its position; just secure the patient’s head and neck in whatever state you found it. In any case, where a patient has been rendered unconscious by a head injury, you should assume that a spinal injury has already taken place. Even if you’re wrong, it will ensure no further damage occurs. When the bones of the spine or neck have been fractured or broken, moving them presents a risk of causing further injury by damaging delicate nerve tissue, muscle, or cartilage.

Symptoms Of A Spinal Injury

There are distinct symptoms that come with a spinal injury that may help indicate that one is present. These include pain in the neck or head or strange sensations that can consist of tingling hands, feet, or a loss of sensation in the same. A lack of ability to move the body below the injury site is also clear indicators that a spinal injury may have occurred.

How To Treat A Spinal Injury Until The Experts Arrive

If the injured patient is unconscious, you want to put the patient’s head or neck in a neutral position, one where it does bend or twist, and where an open and unobstructed airway is maintained. If you have been trained to apply a cervical collar and have one available, then use one to help reduce the amount of movement taking place in the neck. Calling 911 should be done immediately.

Patients who are still conscious should have tight clothing loosened and be left in place with the head and neck supported to prevent bending or twisting. A cervical collar should be applied regardless of whether the patient is conscious or not if someone is available that has been trained in doing so. Outside of these steps, no other action should be taken until the ambulance arrives, and proper medical treatment can be applied. Spinal injuries are severe, and even more, dire repercussions can occur if appropriate First Aid treatments aren’t taken while waiting for the medical professionals to arrive.

If you or someone you know has experienced a spinal injury and is looking for someone to help in recovery, give Neurosurgical and Spine Consultants a call today. Dr. Diana Wilson and her fellow medical specialists provide exceptional care opportunities for patients in the Fort Worth, TX, and surrounding areas. Every year the patients at our clinic receive the best care and are able to recover while retaining most or all of their quality of life.

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