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© 2011 National Safety Council HEAD AND SPINAL INJURIES LESSON
© 2011 National Safety Council Head and Spinal Injuries May be life threatening May cause damage to brain or spinal cord Any trauma to head, neck or back may result in serious injury Injuries that cause unresponsiveness or loss of sensation likely to be serious Suspect neck or back injury with serious injury..\..\..\Terrible Backflip Faceplant off Vending Machine.mp4..\..\..\Terrible Backflip Faceplant off Vending Machine.mp4..\..\..\Faceplant aftermath.mp4 12-2
© 2011 National Safety Council Spinal Injury Statistics Motor vehicle crashes leading cause of head and spinal injuries in people < 65 Falls leading cause of head and spinal injuries in people > 65 Sports and recreation activities another cause of spinal injuries 12-3
© 2011 National Safety Council Spinal Injury Statistics continued About 12,000 people have spinal injury each year Nearly 300,000 people live with disability resulting from spinal injury Motor vehicle crashes and falls are leading causes 12-4
© 2011 National Safety Council Assessing Head and Spinal Injuries Consider mechanism of injury and forces involved Focus on the physical examination Recognize possibility of head or spinal injury 12-5
© 2011 National Safety Council Common Causes Motor vehicle crashes Falls from a height of more than a few feet Diving emergencies Skiing (and other sport) emergencies Any forceful blow to head, neck or back 12-6
© 2011 National Safety Council Risk Factors for Spinal Injuries Victim age 65 or older Child over age 2 with trauma of head or neck Motor vehicle or bicycle crash involving driver, passenger or pedestrian Falls from more than the person’s standing height 12-7
© 2011 National Safety Council Risk Factors for Spinal Injuries continued Victim feels tingling in hands or feet, pain in back or neck or muscle weakness or lack of feeling in torso or arms Victim is intoxicated or not alert Any painful injury, particularly of the head, neck or back 12-8
© 2011 National Safety Council General Signs and Symptoms Lump or deformity in head, neck or back Changing levels of responsiveness Drowsiness Confusion Dizziness Unequal pupils 12-9
© 2011 National Safety Council General Signs and Symptoms continued Headache Clear or bloody fluid from nose or ears Stiff neck Inability to move any body part Tingling, numbness or lack of feeling in feet or hands 12-10
© 2011 National Safety Council Skull Fracture Check for possible skull fracture before applying direct pressure to scalp bleeding -Direct pressure could push bone fragments into brain Skull fracture is life threatening 12-11
© 2011 National Safety Council First Aid for Skull Fracture 1.Call and stay with the victim. 2.Put breathing unresponsive victim in recovery position unless spinal injury is suspected. Monitor breathing and be ready to give CPR. 3.Do not clean wound, press on it or remove impaled object. 4.Cover wound with sterile dressing
© 2011 National Safety Council 5.If bleeding, apply pressure only around edges of wound. Use a ring dressing. 6.Do not move victim unnecessarily. First Aid for Skull Fracture continued 12-13
© 2011 National Safety Council Brain Injuries May occur with blow to head Likely with skull fracture Cause range of signs and symptoms Call Signs and symptoms may seem mild but may progress and become life threatening Suspect spinal injury 12-14
© 2011 National Safety Council Late Signs and Symptoms of Brain Injuries Seek medical attention immediately if: -Nausea and vomiting -Severe or persistent headache -Changing levels of responsiveness -Lack of coordination, movement problems -Problems with vision or speech -Seizures 12-15
© 2011 National Safety Council Concussion Brain injury involving temporary impairment Usually no head wound or signs and symptoms of more serious head injury Victim may have been “knocked out” but regained consciousness quickly Second impact syndrome can be very severe or fatal IMm50PE&feature=related IMm50PE&feature=related 12-16
© 2011 National Safety Council Signs and Symptoms of Concussion Headache Temporary confusion Memory loss about event Brief loss of responsiveness Mild or moderate altered mental status Unusual behavior 12-17
© 2011 National Safety Council First Aid for Concussion Difficult to determine seriousness Seek medical care for all suspected brain injuries Call and keep victim still, give supportive care Victim should never continue with activity (second impact syndrome) 12-18
© 2011 National Safety Council Spinal Injuries Fracture of neck or back always serious -Possible damage to spinal cord Effects of nerve damage depend on nature and location of injury Movement of head or neck could make injury worse 12-19
© 2011 National Safety Council Spinal Injuries continued Perform spinal motion restriction.
© 2011 National Safety Council Spinal Injuries continued Support victim’s head in position found -Do not move victim’s head to move it in line If unresponsive victim must be moved to give CPR, keep head in line with body 12-21
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