Get answers to your Spine related questions.
The spinal cord contains the nerves that carry messages between your brain and body. The cord passes through your neck and back. A spinal cord injury is very serious because it can cause loss of movement (paralysis) below the site of the injury.
Symptoms of a spinal cord injury may include:
Never move anyone who you think may have a spinal injury, unless it is absolutely necessary. For example, if you need to get the person out of a burning car.)
Keep the person absolutely still and safe until medical help arrives.
If the person is not alert or responding to you:
Do not roll the person over unless the person is vomiting or choking on blood, or you need to check for breathing. If you need to roll the person over:
Call you local emergency number (such as 911) if you think someone has a spinal cord injury. DO NOT move the person unless there is urgent danger.
The following may lower your risk of spinal injury:
Hockberger RS, Kaji AH, Newton E. Spinal injuries. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, et al, eds. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 40.
Torg JS. Cervical Spine Injuries: 1. Cervical Spine Injuries in the Adult. In: DeLee JC, Drez D Jr, Miller MD, eds. DeLee and Drez’s Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2009:chap 16, section A.
Pizzutillo PD, Herman MJ. Cervical Spine Injuries: 2. Cervical Spine Injuries in the Child. In: DeLee JC, Drez D Jr, Miller MD, eds. DeLee and Drez’s Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2009:chap 16, section A.
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