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First Aid Overview

First Aid for Back or Neck Injuries

First aid for back and neck injuries can significantly prevent a patience from suffering paralysis or loss of movement.

Causes: Any severe blow, fall, or other accident may result in injury to the neck, back, or spinal cord.

Symptoms: Unconsciousness, breathing difficulty, pain, swelling, loss of sensation, or paralysis

Emergency Treatment

  1. Seek medical assistance immediately. Call for EMS.

    Until EMS arrives:

  2. DO NOT move victim unless absolutely necessary to save victim's life.

  3. DO NOT bend or twist victim's neck or body. Careful handling is extremely important.

  4. Check victim's breathing. If breathing stops, open airway (see ABCs) and begin rescue breathing (see rescue breathing). If victim must be moved to perform rescue breathing or to clean mouth of vomit, enlist help to keep victim's head, torso, and legs in straight line as you turn victim.

  5. Maintain position in which victim was found, even if neck or back is bent, and immobilize head, neck, shoulders, and torso:

    -Roll up towels, blankets, jackets, or clothing, and place around head, neck, shoulders, and torso.

    Back and Neck injuries
    Never move the victim

    -If victim is lying on their back or side, slide thin roll of cloth behind neck without moving head or neck.

    Neck and back injury first aid
    Keep rolls of cloth in pl­ace with
    heavy items or your hands.

    -Keep rolls of material in place with your hands or by surrounding with heavy books, rocks, or bricks.

  6. Monitor victim's airway and breathing until EMS arrives.
To learn more about first aid and emergency care, see:
This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.