If You Have to Move the Casualty
The two key reasons for moving somebody with a spinal injury are: to turn the person on to her back in order to resuscitate her; and to turn her into the recovery position if she is unconscious and in a position that does not allow her to maintain a clear airway.
The best position for a person with a suspected neck or spinal injury is the neutral position. Here the head is in line with the neck and spine. To move a person into the neutral position, grip the head firmly over the ears and move it slowly into line. Once in this position, do not give up this support until medical help arrives to take over from you.
Only use this technique if you have been trained to do so.
One of the most effective ways of turning a person over is the log roll technique. Log roll can also be used to turn somebody with a spinal injury on to her side as an alternative to the recovery position. It is also commonly used to move people with other injuries, such as a broken leg or pelvis, on to a stretcher or blanket.
Ideally, six people should be used to carry out this technique, with one person taking the lead and control of the head.
If you are by yourself and the injured person is not breathing, do not waste time searching for help. Turn the person as carefully as you can with any help available to you.
This is a common neck injury, particularly after car accidents. It accompanies a sudden impact accident when the person is wearing a seat belt and results from the head being thrown backwards and forwards violently. Whiplash is best described as a neck sprain. It is an injury to the soft tissue in the neck and can result in the need for long-term physiotherapy and the use of a neck collar. Whiplash may not appear until hours or even days after the injury.
It is very difficult to distinguish whiplash from spinal cord damage and a broken neck because the signs, symptoms and potential causes are very similar and the pain of the whiplash injury may be masking other, more serious, problems. For this reason, whiplash should be treated in the same way as other spinal injuries until professional medical staff rule out more serious damage.
Spinal injury recovery position
Alternatively, you can use the log roll technique.
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