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spinal injuries

            Spinal injuries are a very serious, and even life-threatening, problem facing almost everyone at some point in there lives. If a broken vertebra pinches a spinal nerve, paralysis may result. The spine is a column of vertebrae stacked one on the next from the skull's base to the tail bone. Each vertebra is hollow through the center where the spinal cord runs through. There are some signs and symptoms that you should check for if you suspect spinal injury on an injured person. Head injuries may indicate that the head may have been snapped in one of more directions. If the victim is conscious, ask them if they feel a pain when they move their arms or legs. Also, the victim may feel numbness, tingling, weakness, or burning in their arms of legs. They may also lose control of their bowls or bladder. However, deformity or an odd looking angle of the head serves as the best clue to a serious spinal injury. If the victim is unconscious, you should check for cuts, bruises and deformities; that may serve as a good clue to spinal injuries. You should also test their responses by pinching their hands and feet. If no reaction occurs, spinal injury is likely. The first and most important thing you should do is keep the victim immobile at all times. The only exeption to that would be if the victim is in a dangerous place such a burning building or car. The second first aid procedure you should administer would be monitoring the breathing by using a "jaw thrust." Be sure to keep the head and neck still. Victims usually required a neck splint, but one should not be put on by you. It takes at least two trained EMS people to put a neck brace on. Since you can not put on a brace, you should stabilize their neck by putting objects on both sides of the neck. Float the victim gently to shore and place them on a backboard in the water if they are in water. The only real precaution that you should take to avoid a spinal injury is to think before you act.

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