Head & Spine Injuries – Part 1 “Causes & Prevention”

Head & Spine Injuries – Part 1 “Causes & Prevention”

Head and Spine injuries are very common and can be fatal, those who also survive injuries from Head or Spinal injuries can have physical difficulties and problems from either brain or spine damage. Paralysis “Quadriplegia, Paraplegia,” loss of motor skill or function, altered behavior & disorders are also included with damage of this nature. Even permanent disability is something we must consider in this post. The spine is the electrical transmitter through your body that carries the brains impulses and commands through out your organs, to disrupt this can have serious long lasting effects. Lets focus on common causes, prevention and a basic overview on how to help with Head / Neck & Spine injuries. One little rhyme you can remember is “Always Keep The Head / Neck & Spine, In A Strait Line, Hoping It’s All Finenever try to move a person with Head or Spine injuries unless their life could be threatened.

Common Causes

“You should always suspect a Head / Neck & Spine injury if the person has been subjected to an Impact / Speed or an Energy Forced against the body with motion, or if you find a unconscious victim from an unknown reason”

  • – Motor vehicle collisions
  • – Recreation or Contact Sports Injuries
  • – Falls
  • – Assaults or Violent Acts

Prevention:

  • – Always buckle up, “safety belts & restraints save lives
  • – Make sure car seats for Children are approved for your region.
  • – Sports protective gear should always be utilized when possible.
  • – Before you attempt a new sport or “stunt” check to see what the potential risks are to your own body. Many injuries can be avoided with some foresight.
  • – Protect stairways from small children with gates and keep well light.
  • – Consult the safety manual for any construction or work equipment that is new to you.
  • – Drink responsibly and never combine medications with alcohol.
  • – Always follow the directions on over the counter medications & prescription drugs.

“Many Head / Neck & Spine Injuries happen in water, to prevent this”

  • -Look before you dive, insure the water deep enough, some pools at hotels or at home may not be deep enough for diving.
  • – Enter unknown or dark / murky water feet first.
  • – Never swim alone, having a buddy will help reduce risk of accidental drowning.
  • – When your body-surfing / surfing or wake-boarding keep your arms in front of you to protect your head / neck and keep balance.
  • – Never combine drinking and boating, boats are still a motorized vehicle.

“Always Keep The Head / Neck & Spine, In A Strait Line, Hoping It’s All Fine” never try to move a person with Head or Spine injuries unless their life could be threatened.

How to help with Head & Spine Injuries:

1) Check the area, once the area is safe, Check the person and ensure the persons ABC’s are present “Airway / Breathing / CirculationREMEMBERWear gloves if available to avoid bodily fluids.

2) Call 911 and get an AED if you are alone, you suspect a Head / Neck or Spine injury, there is a motor vehicle collision, dangerous environment or the injured persons life could be at risk.

3) Care for the Head / Neck & Spine Injury by:

Always follow recommendations by your Emergency Response professionals and 911 Dispatch personnel. ” Never endanger yourself or the victim, you may ” not” need to move or roll the injured person”

  • – If there are other life threatening injuries, treat those first as quickly as possible with as little movement to the injured person torso.
  • – Make sure you move the Head / Neck or Spine as little as possible, even slight movement may cause further injuries.
  • -Place your hands on both sides of the injured person’s head. Gently support the person’s head in the position in which you find it until EMS personnel arrive.
  • – If the injured person is wearing a helmet, leave it on unless it makes it difficult for you to ensure the ABC’s “Airway, Breathing, Circulation” are present.
  • -If the person is laying face down in water / mud or if their airway could be compromised due to their position or injuries, roll the person using the H.A.IN.E.S technique or with multiple partners use the “H.A.IN.E.S Log Roll“, insuring that you keep the head / neck & spine in a the position you find them even as you roll them. Never “straighten” an injured victim suspected of Head / Neck or Spine injuries.
  • -Continue care until further help arrives.

If the person vomits, carefully roll them onto one side to keep the airway clear.

We never know what can happen, its always good to be prepared and have the knowledge we need to help those who need it.

“This material is for information purposes only and is taken from The Canadian Red Cross / Alberta Heart & Stroke Foundation & Alberta Health Services. This information should not be used in place of medical, Technical advice, instructor, and/or treatment. If you have questions, speak to your local Physician or Safety Training Facility.”

Just Remember:

Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Waste Time!!!

Learn First Aid Today & Save a Life Tomorrow with Saving Grace Medical Academy Ltd.

Burns – Part 3 “Thermal Burns”

Burns – Part 3 “Thermal Burns”

For our last portion of Burns lets reiterate “Burns are injuries to the body’s tissues caused by either chemicals, electricity, heat or radiation. As burns can come from so many different sources”, this final section will help you focus on the information and see that physical causes of burns or “Burns from an Energy Source“, are “easy“. Once you get the science of energy and how the damage to your body from Thermal Energy “Hot or Cold” is relatively similar in how we treat it. A little slogan to remember about Thermal Energy is “Hot is fast but Cold is Slow“, this little saying will help you see that if a burn from “heat” can happen fast, then we can treat it fast, but just like it takes a while for an ice cube to form “slow” that means that your body will likewise take damage from cold “Slowly“. Again This does not include Dry Ice or any other chemical, as chemicals have an MSDS and we will always refer to the Material Safety Data Sheet to ensure we use the correct methods of treating injuries caused by chemicals.

Within Thermal Burns or Thermal Damage from a heat source to your flesh there are normally 3 levels or degree’s that we will decipher. Just remember that Thermal energy in either direction Hot or Cold will result in levels of severity and symptoms that are very similar but on opposite ends of the spectrum “Fire / Ice“, Lets focus on Heat exposure for this article.

As your flesh heats up to levels where it can sustain damage, your tissue will naturally react as many other substances do when encountering a “Heat Source“. Your flesh will harden and trap the energy created by the Heat Source within it, as we have heard the saying “A burn will continue to burn even after the heat source has been removed.” The issue is not

“First Degree or Superficial burns”

  • -damage to the first layers of your tissue comes with redness, pain, possible swelling. Most commonly seen as light sunburn that comes with itching and tenderness of the flesh.

“Second Degree or Partial Thickness Burns”

  • -Damage to the second layers of flesh and tissues, often seen with cooking burns. Redness, Pain from mild to severe, Possible swelling and Blisters “Never Pop a Blister” are often symptoms with second degree or partial thickness burns.

“Third Degree or Full Thickness Burns”

-Damage to all layers of tissue and flesh, often seen with flash burns. Third degree or Full Thickness Burns may present with redness, pain mild to severe “May not be present at the wort part of the burn due to nerve damage“, swelling, blisters, charred or waxy white flesh, open wounds. Always consult medical professionals for third degree or full thickness burns as infection rates are dramatically increased.

Prevention:

“Thermal Burns From a Heat Source”

  • -Keep matches away from children.
  • -Store gasoline and other highly flammable liquids outdoors.
  • When you are cooking on the stove, turn the pot handles in and use only the back burners when possible.
  • -Keep the hot water tank temperature turned down to 49C (120F)
  • -Do not put water on a grease fire “Use baking soda
  • -Keep aerosol cans away from heat and open flames
  • -Make sure your fireplace has a sturdy metal screen. Keep flammable materials away from fireplaces.

“Electrical Burns”

  • -Keep electrical appliances away from water
  • -If an electrical cord is frayed, fix it or get rid of it
  • -If you have young children cover electrical outlets

“Lightning Strikes”

  • -As soon as you see or hear a storm, stop swimming and boating and get away from the water because water conducts electricity.
  • -Go inside the closest building. If there is no building nearby, get inside a car and roll up the windows.
  • -Stay away from the telephone “Cell phone“, except in an emergency. If you are caught outside stay away from telephone poles and tall trees.
  • -Stay away from farm equipment and small metal vehicles such as motorcycles, bicycles and golf carts.
  • -Stay away from wire fences, clotheslines, metal pipes and rails, and other things that conduct electricity.
  • -If you are with a group of people, stay several meters apart from each other

How to Treat a Burn: “Thermal – From a Heat Source

1) Check the area, once the area is safe, Check the person and ensure the persons ABC’s are present “Airway / Breathing / CirculationREMEMBER Wear gloves if available to avoid bodily fluids.

2) Call 911 and get an AED if the burn covers more than 10% of the body, the person is in a great deal of pain, there is charring on the wound, 3rd degree or the burn was caused by a chemical, electrical, radiation source or explosive.

3) Care for the burn by:

Always follow recommendations by your Emergency Response professionals and 911 Dispatch personnel. “Never endanger yourself and maintain a safe distance from the source of the burn & review the MSDS if available”

  • -Cool the Burn and affected area with cool running water for at least “10 to 20 minutes” Minimum 15 minutes for all chemicals to dilute, remove & neutralize the chemical reaction. “This includes powdered chemicals after you have brushed away the excess before washing away. Always remove clothing that has been exposed to chemicals to prevent them from sticking to the body**NOTE** Never remove clothing that has “become stuck or melted” to the skin as the skin may peal off with it, consult a physician instead.
  • -For 2nd & 3rd Degree burns with charring or blistering cool only a small area at a time, too quickly may cause the person to go into shock.
  • -For 2nd & 3rd Degree burns with charring or blistering If the burned area covers less than 10% of the persons body, cool the burn with running or standing water for at 10 to 20 minutes. If this is too painful or the area cannot be put in water, cover the burn with a cool, moist, sterile dressing or clean cloth to cool it.
  • -“DO NOT” try to clean a full thickness burn “3rd degree with charring or blistering”
  • -After cooling the burn, cover it loosely with a dry, sterile dressing, preferably non-stick gauze.
  • -Always Seek Medical Attention for further treatment of 2nd and 3rd degree burns with charring or blistering to avoid complications or infections.

As you can see, the treatment on burns in all 3 sections of this tutorial are the same. Once you master the First Aid technique on how to aid a burn caused from a heat source you can aid anyone who has been exposed to too much heat. Just remember that it does not matter what the name of the burn is, the treatments are often the same “Hot is Fast & Cold is Slow”. Cool Running Water for 10-20 Minutes for all burns and seek medical attention for 2nd & 3rd degree or if their injuries may worsen.

We never know what can happen, its always good to be prepared and have the knowledge we need to help those who need it.

“This material is for information purposes only and is taken from The Canadian Red Cross / Alberta Heart & Stroke Foundation & Alberta Health Services. This information should not be used in place of medical, Technical advice, instructor, and/or treatment. If you have questions, speak to your local Physician or Safety Training Facility.”

Just Remember:

Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Waste Time!!!

Learn First Aid Today & Save a Life Tomorrow with Saving Grace Medical Academy Ltd.

Burns – Part 2 “Chemical / Electrical & Radiation”

Burns – Part 2 “Chemical / Electrical & Radiation”

Once again “Burns are injuries to the body’s tissues caused by either chemicals, electricity, heat or radiation. As burns can come from so many different sources” For this section to help you see the information a little more clearly lets focus on physical causes of burns or “Burns from an Energy Source“, this will also enforce how “easy” burns are once you get the science of energy and how the damage to your body from Thermal Energy “Hot or Cold” is relatively similar in how we treat it. A little slogan to remember about Thermal Energy is “Hot is fast but Cold is Slow“, this little saying will help you see that if a burn from “heat” can happen fast, then we can treat it fast, but just like it takes a while for an ice cube to form “slow” that means that your body will likewise take damage from cold “Slowly“. This does not include Dry Ice, as Dry ice has an MSDS and we will always refer to the Material Safety Data Sheet to ensure we use the correct methods of treating injuries caused by chemicals.

Chemical Burns “Wet or Dry“:

There are so many chemicals in our society it would be almost impossible to provide an accurate First Aid skill for all of them if we didn’t understand the nature of chemicals and how they work. What we must remember is that many chemicals create a “Chemical Reaction when exposed to a catalyst” this can either be another chemical, substance or fluid. The chemical reaction against the body or flesh creates a burn like symptom that may not stop until the chemical is neutralized or even removed entirely from the flesh. “Always refer to the MSDS Material Safety Data Sheet for chemical exposure along with your 911 Emergency Response coordinator for further treatments

Electrical Burns:

Burns from Electricity are very dangerous and can have many long lasting side effects. As your body uses electricity in many of its natural functions exposure to foreign electrical sources can disrupt your natural electrical balance and cause damage “Heart Rhythm for example“. This is only part of the Electrical burn as electricity always requires 2 things “Entrance & Exit” through the “Path of least resistance“, this means that depending on the type of electricity “Volts or Amps” the person’s organs may be disrupted and damaged “along” the path the electricity takes “Entrance & Exit“. With electrical burns always expect 2 wounds. The severity of the damage will also be linked to the “Amount of electricity the victim was exposed to“. Never approach a victim who is “being” electrocuted, as your body is mainly water you may act as a conductor and be electrocuted yourself even while wearing rubber shoes. “Always consult your 911 Emergency coordinator for further options & treatments

Radiation Burns:

Our Sun, which has radiant energy, can cause burns to the skin. Other sources of radiant energy that can cause burns are X-Rays, electronics, radiation from radioactive material and radiation treatments used for illness like cancer. Even intense light (welders flash) or reflection from sunlight can burn. “If you were exposed to a radiation Source” or an object marked or identified as radioactive call 911 immediately and consult your Emergency coordinator for further safety measures to protect yourself, “never approach a radiation source without proper training and Personal Protective Equipment” Exposure to radiation sources for even a short period may cause long lasting side effects, even death.

Prevention:

“Chemical Burns”

  • -Store Chemicals in their original containers
  • -Wear protective gear when you are handling chemicals
  • -Wash your hands after touching chemicals
  • -Get trained in “WHMISWorkplace Hazardous Materials Information System also known as “GHSGlobally Harmonized System of classifications and labeling of chemicals.
  • -Read the label before you use a chemical product

“Electrical Burns”

  • -Keep electrical appliances away from water
  • -If an electrical cord is frayed, fix it or get rid of it
  • -If you have young children cover electrical outlets

“Lightning Strikes”

  • -As soon as you see or hear a storm, stop swimming and boating and get away from the water because water conducts electricity.
  • -Go inside the closest building. If there is no building nearby, get inside a car and roll up the windows.
  • -Stay away from the telephone “Cell phone“, except in an emergency. If you are caught outside stay away from telephone poles and tall trees.
  • -Stay away from farm equipment and small metal vehicles such as motorcycles, bicycles and golf carts.
  • -Stay away from wire fences, clotheslines, metal pipes and rails, and other things that conduct electricity.
  • -If you are with a group of people, stay several meters apart from each other.

How to Treat a Burn: “Chemical / Electrical & Radiation”

1) Check the area, once the area is safe, Check the person and ensure the persons ABC’s are present “Airway / Breathing / CirculationREMEMBERWear gloves if available to avoid bodily fluids.

2) Call 911 and get an AED if the burn covers more than 10% of the body, the person is in a great deal of pain, there is charring on the wound, 3rd degree or the burn was caused by a chemical, electrical, radiation source or explosive.

3) Care for the burn by:

Always follow recommendations by your Emergency Response professionals and 911 Dispatch personnel. “Never endanger yourself and maintain a safe distance from the source of the burn & review the MSDS if available”

  • -Cool the Burn and affected area with cool running water for at least “10 to 20 minutes” Minimum 15 minutes for all chemicals to dilute, remove & neutralize the chemical reaction. “This includes powdered chemicals after you have brushed away the excess before washing away. “Always remove clothing that has been exposed to chemicals to prevent them from sticking to the body” **NOTE** Never remove clothing that has “become stuck or melted” to the skin as the skin may peal off with it, consult a physician instead.
  • -For 2nd & 3rd Degree burns with charring or blistering cool only a small area at a time, too quickly may cause the person to go into shock.
  • -For 2nd & 3rd Degree burns with charring or blistering If the burned area covers less than 10% of the persons body, cool the burn with running or standing water for at 10 to 20 minutes. If this is too painful or the area cannot be put in water, cover the burn with a cool, moist, sterile dressing or clean cloth to cool it.
  • -“DO NOT” try to clean a full thickness burn “3rd degree with charring or blistering
  • -After cooling the burn, cover it loosely with a dry, sterile dressing, preferably non-stick gauze.
  • -Always Seek Medical Attention for further treatment of 2nd and 3rd degree burns with charring or blistering to avoid complications or infections.

Notes on Electrical Burns

  • -“Look for two burns” the entry and exit points. They will be open wounds that may need to be treated.”
  • -“Always” treat the person exposed to electricity as if he or she might have a head and/or spine injury.

Notes on Chemical Burns

  • Always flush the affected area with “Cool / Running / Water” to Remove the Chemical, Dilute the Chemical & slow the chemical reaction rate.
  • Always refer to your MSDS and use your WHMIS & GHS training

Notes on Radiation Burns

  • Never approach a radiation source or material that has been designated radioactive.
  • -If you suspect radiation exposure consult your emergency department immediately! Then seek Medical Attention!

We never know what can happen, its always good to be prepared and have the knowledge we need to help those who need it.

“This material is for information purposes only and is taken from The Canadian Red Cross / Alberta Heart & Stroke Foundation & Alberta Health Services. This information should not be used in place of medical, Technical advice, instructor, and/or treatment. If you have questions, speak to your local Physician or Safety Training Facility.”

Just Remember:

Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Waste Time!!!

Learn First Aid Today & Save a Life Tomorrow with Saving Grace Medical Academy Ltd.