Spinal cord injury is a common effect of many accidents that happen these days. With car accidents as the leading cause of spinal cord injury, there are thousands of people affected by it every year. If it is as common as that, then you should know how to respond to such an incident as it happens. Many people become victims of paralysis because of the wrong way the injury was handled.
Know the symptoms of spinal cord injury.
The most important thing you need to do to prepare for incidents of spinal cord injury is to learn how to determine whether a person has sustained an injury in the spine or not. Common symptoms to watch out for include loss of sensation in the arms or legs. The patient will literally not be able to identify or feel hot or cold. Loss of movement is also another symptom of spinal cord injury. The patient will not be able to control movement or even have the ability to move at all in the affected area. Moreover, difficulty breathing, coughing or clearing secretions from the lungs can be signs of injury.
How to respond to a spinal cord injury.
The first thing to do when you suspect someone or yourself of spinal cord injury is to prevent any movement, however slight the movement is. You should never touch or move the person as any level of movement may cause more damage to the spinal cord. Many cases of spinal cord injury have been worsened because the injured person has been moved. To immobilize the person should be your first thought to prevent further damages. You can do this by placing towels or any kind of cushion to both sides of the neck or head to prevent the head from moving. When medical personnel arrive, they will place a rigid neck collar and place the person on a rigid carrying board to protect the patient from being moved while on transport.
Often, how you provide first aid to the injured person will determine the severity of the injury. When a person becomes injured and you found symptoms of spinal cord injury, then you should ensure that movement is restricted. Never leave the person alone so that other people will not move him or her until the paramedics arrive. By knowing how to take care of a person who sustained a spinal cord injury, you can help prevent more damage and even aid in the favorable recovery of the person after the injury.