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First aid: Spinal injury

First aid of spinal injury
Spinal injury is more likely to be caused by physical injury.

A spinal injury damages the spinal Cord,  may impact its functioning, and can occur at any time to anyone. The injury is more likely due to an accident or falling from a height.

The injury can affect the spinal Cord either completely or incompletely. Complete damage may result in immediate, flaccid paralysis and loss of reflex activity and sensation. On the other hand, an incomplete one may result in a loss of motor or sensory function. Deep reflex tendons can become hyperactive, and motor and sensory loss can cause contusion or lace. Sometimes, the incomplete injury can turn into a complete spinal injury.

It is advisable to contact medical emergency services immediately. Meanwhile, start first aid to the injured with caution. The spinal Cord is a long, fragile tube-like structure surrounded by nerve fibers and tissues. 

Causes of a spinal injury

Spinal injuries are more likely to be caused by physical injury; for example, it can be caused by accident, people may get it while playing a sport, or it can be because of a gunshot injury. Rarely, it could occur by stretching, hyperflexion (forward movement of the head), contusion, etc.

Spinal injuries are likely to cause trauma in some cases, in which the vertebrae (bones surrounding the spinal Cord to protect) can also break. The bones can even damage the soft tissues of the Cord. A person may get paralyzed depending on the severity of the damage caused to them.

How do you identify if it is a spinal injury?

It mainly depends upon which part is being affected. The severity of an injury can be witnessed by detecting the loss of function of body parts.

There can be multiple signs that showcase the person has a spinal injury:

  • Bruises, unusual bumps.
  • Heavy bleeding on the back.
  • Persistent headache.
  • Pain in the back and loss of sensation or tingling on hands, legs, and fingers.
  • Impaired breathing and vision.
  • Severe pain in the back.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Loss of balance.
  • Loss of movement.
  • A person can behave unusually (e.g., Speech problems, stumbling, loss of memory, any of these).

How can such spinal injuries be prevented?

  • Be extra cautious while standing at a height.
  • It is always recommended to wear gear while playing sports to avoid injury.
  • Wear a helmet, or if it is a two-wheeler, fasten the seat belt while driving a car.
  • If you wish to dive inside deep water, ensure it does not contain sharp edges or rocks.

First Aid


This Abbreviation Stands for Danger, Response, Send for help, Airway, Breathing CPR, and Defibrillator.

  • Danger: Always keep yourself out of danger to help the needy.
  • Response: Seek the affected person’s responsiveness. Talk to him; see if the person is conscious.
  • Send for Help: Respond to medical emergencies immediately. Do not panic, and answer the questions asked by the operator.
  • Airway: Check the airway. Is the person breathing?
  • Breathing: Look for chest movement. Listen by putting your ear near the mouth or nose of the affected person.
  • CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation): An emergency procedure that combines chest compression and artificial ventilation.
  • Defibrillators: These are artificial devices, and everyone doesn’t need to have a defibrillator with them. 

The doctor himself would evaluate the injury. So, contact for medical help as soon as possible. 

Until medical help arrives:

  • Make sure the affected person does not move.
  • Place heavy towel rolls or sheets on both sides of the neck so the person remains still.
  • If the person doesn’t show any of these functions, such as (breathing, circulation, or coughing), then begin CPR without moving the head or neck of the person.
  • Do not remove a helmet if the person is wearing one. Remove it if it’s a football helmet, as the person might experience difficulty breathing.
  • If there is a need to roll the affected person, do not roll alone. Sometimes, a person might be vomiting or bleeding in that condition. Take the help of other persons to move and another at the side of the head to keep the head, neck, and back aligned.
  • If a child is in a car, do not remove their seat belt unless you need CPR.
  • If the person has any head, neck, or spinal injury, ask him to respond by talking verbally rather than moving his head or nodding.


Spinal injury is an unexpected incidence. It is essential to take all necessary measures while a person has got it. Promptly contact for emergency help. It is possible that the ambulance might take some time to reach. Understanding the situation is essential, and first aid should be given only if necessary while observing the responses of the injured person.

1.  The red Cross organization

Health Safety Services

2.  The merks manual

professional- injurie

3. The Mayo Clinic

First-aid- basics


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