Spinal Injuries

Spinal injuries are a very serious, and even life-threatening, problem facing
almost everyone at some point in there lives. If a broken vertebra pinches a
spinal nerve, paralysis may result. The spine is a column of vertebrae stacked one
on the next from the skull’s base to the tail bone. Each vertebra is hollow
through the center where the spinal cord runs through.
There are some signs and symptoms that you should check for if you suspect
spinal injury on an injured person. Head injuries may indicate that the head may
have been snapped in one of more directions. If the victim is conscious, ask
them if they feel a pain when they move their arms or legs. Also, the victim may
feel numbness, tingling, weakness, or burning in their arms of legs. They may
also lose control of their bowls or bladder. However, deformity or an odd
looking angle of the head serves as the best clue to a serious spinal injury.
If the victim is unconscious, you should check for cuts, bruises and
deformities; that may serve as a good clue to spinal injuries. You should also test
their responses by pinching their hands and feet. If no reaction occurs, spinal
injury is likely.
The first and most important thing you should do is keep the victim immobile
at all times. The only exeption to that would be if the victim is in a dangerous
place such a burning building or car. The second first aid procedure you should
administer would be monitoring the breathing by using a “jaw thrust.” Be sure to
keep the head and neck still. Victims usually required a neck splint, but one
should not be put on by you. It takes at least two trained EMS people to put a
neck brace on. Since you can not put on a brace, you should stabilize their neck
by putting objects on both sides of the neck. Float the victim gently to shore and
place them on a backboard in the water if they are in water.
The only real precaution that you should take to avoid a spinal injury is to
think before you act. Don’t do anything risky that may put you into a situation
like this; that includes lifting thing that may be too heavy for you to lift safely.
One mistake and you could be in a wheelchair or a bed for the rest of your life.

-Fifteen to twenty percent of head injury victims also have neck or spinal cord
-The spine is made up of thirty three cylindrical bones.
-The cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacrum, and coccyx are the main parts of the
vertebrae. (Lumbar is the most commonly injured.)