First Aid – Back Injuries

Back injuries

Back or neck injuries can occur for numerous reasons in people. If you suspect a back or neck (spinal) injury, it is important you do not move the affected person unless they aren’t breathing then preform CPR. Permanent paralysis and other serious complications can result. Assume a person has a spinal injury if:

• There's evidence of a head injury with an ongoing change in the person's level of consciousness

• The person complains of severe pain in his or her neck or back

• The person won't move his or her neck

• An injury has exerted substantial force on the back or head

• The person complains of weakness, numbness or paralysis or lacks control of his or her limbs, bladder or bowels

• The neck or back is twisted or positioned oddly
If you suspect someone has a spinal injury:

• Get help. Call 000, 112 or emergency medical help.

• Keep the person still. Place heavy towels on both sides of the neck or hold the head and neck to prevent movement and stay with them to keep them clam and still.

• CPR technique. If the person shows no signs of circulation (breathing, coughing or movement), begin CPR as soon as possible, do not fear making the person any worse than they already are, as without a heart beat or breathing the person is already n the worst state possible and most injuries can heal.

• Keep helmet on. If the person is wearing a helmet, don't remove it.

• Don't roll alone. If you must roll the person because he or she is vomiting, choking on blood or in danger of further injury, you need at least one other person. With one of you at the head and another along the side of the injured person, work together to keep the person's head, neck and back aligned while rolling the person onto one side.

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