Spinal Cord Injuries 2

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

More than 12,000 people will suffer a traumatic spinal cord injury in the United States this year. In todays 60 Second Housecall, Dr. Edward Hill tells us what to do if you are with someone with such an injury.

Dr. Hill:

Anyone who has experienced significant trauma to the head or neck needs immediate medical evaluation for the possibility of spinal cord injury. In fact, its safest to assume that trauma victims have a spinal cord injury until proven otherwise.

If you suspect that someone has a back or neck injury, dont move the injured person. Permanent paralysis and other serious complications may result. Instead, take these steps:

- Dial 911 or call for emergency medical assistance.

- Keep the person still.

- Place heavy towels or other objects on both sides of the neck to prevent it from moving, until emergency care arrives.

- Provide basic first aid, such as stopping any bleeding and making the person comfortable, without moving the head or neck.

Prevention of spinal cord injury during an accident starts at the scene. Urgent medical attention is critical to minimizing the long-term effects of any head or neck trauma.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.