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Head, Neck and Spine Injury (10 of 11)

The skull is a bony structure, and its purpose is protecting the brain from any damage. If the injury to the head occurs there is always a risk of brain damage. Also, it should always be assumed, that if there is a risk of head injury then there is also a risk of spine injury and neck injury.

You should suspect a head, neck or spine injury in case of the following accidents:

  • Car or motorcycle accident, even minor bump can cause internal head injury

  • Fall from height

  • Injury to the head, fight, sporting event, etc.

  • Electrocution

You should suspect a head, neck or spine injury if the symptoms below follow the accident:

  • Lack of responsiveness or moaning

  • Vision problems or confusion

  • Trouble walking or moving

  • Seizures, Vomiting, or Headache

Steps for administering First Aid:

  • As always, make sure the scene is safe for you and the victim(s)

  • Phone or ask someone to phone 911

  • Hold the neck and head so it does not move, twists, or bend

  • Turn the victim only if: *victim is in danger, *if you need to check if the victim is breathing, *if the victim is vomiting

  • If the victim does not respond, begin CPR

Important: If you must turn, make sure you are holding the head and neck in place to avoid/minimize movement, twisting or bending. Ideally, this requires two rescuers.

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