Since we are talking about first aid here, you must know the first and foremost thumb rule of first aid. The first rule of first aid is to cause no harm.
You will probably say that the above rule’s basically a no-brainer. That’s what most people do, right? They try to avoid inflicting harm to the best of their abilities. But in the event of a severe spine or head injury, the normal instinct is to move the victim to a more comfortable and safe position. And that’s where the trouble comes in.
Moving a spinal injury victim can inflict a lot of unintentional damage. It needs to be done in certain ways to keep damage at bay in the best possible way.
Anyway, let’s go through a few of these ways through which you can treat a spinal injury victim effectively with the help of first aid.
1. At first, ensure the fact that the victim has suffered a spinal injury
You can suspect the occurrence of spinal injury from several symptoms such as:
- The victim’s losing consciousness from time to time.
- There’s a complaint of severe neck or back pain.
- The victim’s gone completely immobile and can’t move his/her neck and limbs.
- The victim feels numbness in his/her limbs and is complaining of it.
- The victim has lost control of his/her bladder.
- The position of the spine’s looking significantly odd or crooked.
Once you are sure of the fact that the victim’s got a severe spinal injury, try NOT to move him in any way unless the situation compels you to do so. Do ensure utmost caution while moving the victim if you are forced to do so (refer to point X).
2. Start CPR if the victim’s not breathing
Spinal injury or not, you should start CPR regardless if the victim’s not breathing.
Begin CPR ASAP with at least thirty chest bumps coupled with a few mouth to mouth breathing.
Do note that you should NOT tilt the victim’s head back to open up his airway (this procedure’s recommended in CPR) in case he or she has suffered a head injury.
3. If the victim’s bleeding, administer first aid immediately
If the spinal injury victim’s bleeding profusely from several places, administer the very basics of first as soon as possible. But try NOT move his/her head or neck while administering the first aid.
At first rinse away any debris or dirt his/her on open wounds. Then put a little bit of pressure on those wounds to cut the flow of blood with the help of a bandage.
- Splinting broken bones must be done by medical professionals.
- Try and keep the injured victim warm to the best of your ability. Use a blanket.
4. Prepare to log roll the victim
This decision of yours must depend on the circumstances. If the circumstances force you to move the victim as soon as possible, delve deep into this action almost immediately.
Look around you to determine the number of helping hands around you. Remember that you need at least two people to log roll the victim safely to a safe zone. 5 or 6 is the ideal number of people to log roll the victim to the target zone.
5. Get your spineboard ready
You are probably logged rolling the victim onto a spine board for final transportation. Get your spineboard ready for that purpose.
The spine board must be placed right next to the side of the victim you are planning on lifting off the floor. You should also remember that you require an extra person to push the spineboard under the victim’s body for the final lift-up.
6. Quickly position the spineboard and lower the victim on it
You have to be quick on one hand and be immensely careful on the other to prevent the occurrence of any further damage.
Make sure you do this job this way:
Once the victim is on his/her side, push the spineboard quickly and directly underneath him/her. Ensure that the victim’s as close to the center of the spineboard as possible.
Well, that’s pretty much everything you need to know, to be honest. Just make sure that you stay calm and composed in your job. You will be able to accomplish this task easily and effectively.