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
Seek medical assistance immediately. Call for EMS.
Until EMS arrives:
DO NOT move victim unless absolutely necessary to save victim's life.
DO NOT bend or twist victim's neck or body. Careful handling is extremely important.
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.
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.
-If victim is lying on their back or side, slide thin roll of cloth behind neck without moving head or neck.
Never move the victim
-Keep rolls of material in place with your hands or by surrounding with heavy books, rocks, or bricks.
Keep rolls of cloth in place with
heavy items or your hands.
- Monitor victim's airway and breathing until EMS arrives.