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 Fine” never try to move a person with Head or Spine injuries unless their life could be threatened.
“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
- – 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 / Circulation” REMEMBER – Wear 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.”
Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Waste Time!!!
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