Managing a suspected Spinal Injury

Posted by StevenHWicker on August 24th, 2019

Creating further damage when dealing with a suspected spinal injury is always a great concern for first aiders.

The vertebrae is in 5 sections and contains 28 bones (some of these are fused to create a “joined bone”) and of course supports and protects the spinal cord which is carrying signals from the brain to different parts of the body. First Aid Supplies Sunshine Coast

If the injured person is conscious and can give symptoms of the pain eg: tingling in the hands, feet, or worse no sense of felling at all leave them on their back or in the position you have found them, avoid any movement of their vertebrae assisting with immobilisation if possible. If you are trained to do so and the equipment is available apply a neck brace or collar for support, constantly monitor their A.B.C and treat for shock while you are waiting for the professionals.

If the injured person is unconscious we should still be concerned about the movement of the vertebrae and must manage the causality with as much care as possible but in this case the causality must be rolled onto their side into the lateral position ensuring spinal alignment as this is done.

The reason the unconscious causality must be moved is that there is a greater risk of blocking of the airway by their tongue or aspirating (choking on their vomit) when left on their back which will result in suffocation of the causality. The A.R.C (Australian Resuscitation Council) states that “airway management must take precedence over ever other condition including spinal damage”.

When the skin has been opened through cutting or burns the body is at a high risk of infection. When managing any injury it is important to ensure that part of the management includes infection control. If possible always use clean, hygienic, equipment including bandaging. An ideal method of infection control for a burn is using a plastic wrap like “Cling Film” from the kitchen. Make sure it is not applied to tight as you should expect some swelling from fluid retention from the burn. Burns should be ran under cool running water for at least 20 minutes or until the professionals arrive to give assistance.

Managing a Fracture

A fracture may not always be obvious. If a casualty is showing signs and symptoms including pain, swelling, loss of movement of a limb, deformity you should suspect a fracture and manage by immobilising.

Immablisation can be done with very simple tools. A fracture to a forearm can be managed by just resting it on a pillow on top of a table while waiting for the ambulance or supported by lifting their shirt up and pinning it above the forearm. CPR Refresher Course Sunshine Coast

If possible part of immobilising the fracture may include “splinting”. Splints can be made by using simple household items like a rolled up newspaper or magazine, rolled towel or even another body part.

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