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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Fracture of Vertebrae

Damage to the spine is caused either by direct or indirect violence (compression) and is not always readily recognizable. Pain may not occur until a few days later. Therefore find out how the accident came about (fall, skidding). Special attention is to be paid to fractures of the vertebrae, because of the risk of injuries to the spinal cord which may result in paralysis and or sensory disorders.

Whiplash syndrome: In rear end collisions the backward and forward jerking of the head can cause injuries of the cervical spine.

Symtoms and Signs

  • Typical kind of accident
  • Pain in the back, the casualty may be unable to stand up or to move his legs
  • Tingling sensation or numbness in arms and legs


Danger
Damage to the spinal cord

In case of an injury of the cervical spine involving damage to the spinal cord respiratory disorders may occur. Such injuries may also be caused after the accident by inexpert moving and handling.

First Aid

  • Do not change the casualty’s position until the doctor or the ambulance staff arrives at the scene of the accident.
  • Move the casualty away only from the immediate danger zone. Draw the casualty gently to safety, but leave him other wise in the original he was found.
  • Note that the crash helmet does protect the casualty’s head, but transmits the impact to the cervical spine (injuries of cervical vertebrae). If you have to take off the crash helmet, see how to help on Crash Helmet.
  • If the casualty is unconscious, place him gently in a lateral position. The casualty’s head should be supported by a second helper. Do not tilt the head too far backwards.
  • Treat for shock.
  • Emergency call.

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