How would you recognize a patient with a possible spinal cord injury?

Emergency signs and symptoms of a spinal cord injury after an accident may include: Extreme back pain or pressure in your neck, head or back. Weakness, incoordination or paralysis in any part of your body. Numbness, tingling or loss of sensation in your hands, fingers, feet or toes.

What are 5 things you should do if you suspect that someone has a spinal cord injury?

If you suspect someone has a spinal injury:

  • Get help. Call 911 or emergency medical help.
  • Keep the person still. Place heavy towels or rolled sheets on both sides of the neck or hold the head and neck to prevent movement.
  • Avoid moving the head or neck. …
  • Keep helmet on. …
  • Don’t roll alone.

What position should you place an unconscious breathing casualty in even if you suspect spinal injury?

Place the unconscious patient in recovery position supporting neck and spine in a neutral position at all times to prevent twisting or bending movements. Maintain a clear and open airway.

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How do you transport a patient with a spinal injury?

Land (ambulance) and air (helicopter or fixed-wing plane) are the primary modes available to transport the spinal injury patient. The goal is to expedite safe and effective transportation without an unfavorable impact on patient outcome.

Does a spinal cord injury shorten your life?

Life expectancy depends on the severity of the injury, where on the spine the injury occurs and age. Life expectancy after injury ranges from 1.5 years for a ventilator-dependent patient older than 60 to 52.6 years for a 20-year-old patient with preserved motor function.

What are possible psychosocial effects of a complete spinal cord injury?

Emotional and behavioral problems may develop or worsen after a SCI. There is often a period of adjustment after a spinal cord injury. Sometimes feelings of sadness or anxiety may develop. In some cases, clinical depression may develop.

When should you suspect C spine injury?

Spinal cord injury should be suspected in unconscious patients, or in patients with axial neck pain or those with evidence of neurological injury. Beware that absence of neurologic findings does not eliminate the possibility of spinal cord injury. Physical examination should include a detailed neurological examination.

What is the first thing you should do if a person is unconscious and not breathing?

If they’re not breathing, open the airway and give 5 initial rescue breaths before starting CPR. Find out how to give CPR, including rescue breaths. If the person is unconscious but still breathing, put them into the recovery position with their head lower than their body and call an ambulance immediately.

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What is the most important indicator of a possible spinal injury?

Emergency signs and symptoms of a spinal cord injury after an accident may include: Extreme back pain or pressure in your neck, head or back. Weakness, incoordination or paralysis in any part of your body. Numbness, tingling or loss of sensation in your hands, fingers, feet or toes.

In what position is a patient with suspected spine injury placed?

Patient Positioning

Unresponsive patients without suspected spine injury should be placed in the recovery position on their left side. Patients with chest pain or difficulty breathing should NOT be walked to the ambulance. Patients with suspected spine injury should be fully immobilized on a long backboard.

When should you use spinal immobilization?

Patients who should have spinal immobilization include the following:

  1. Blunt trauma.
  2. Spinal tenderness or pain.
  3. Patients with an altered level of consciousness.
  4. Neurological deficits.
  5. Obvious anatomic deformity of the spine.
  6. High energy trauma in a patient intoxicated from drugs, alcohol, or a distracting injury.

What is the procedure for checking for spinal cord damage in an unconscious patient?

If they are unresponsive:

  1. Reassure the casualty. Do not move them unless they are in immediate danger. …
  2. Steady and support their head so that their head, neck, and spine are in a straight line to try and prevent further damage. …
  3. Open their airway using the jaw-thrust technique. …
  4. Check the casualty’s breathing.
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