Stabilising the spine of a casualty

If you suspect someone is having a spinal injury, it is very important that you immobilise their head as soon as possible as any movement can damage their spinal cord resulting in very serious life-changed disabilities or even death. Spinal injuries can vary from car accidents to falls. In this example, we are looking at a possible spinal injury on a sports field. If you need to, gently and slowly move their head into the neutral position to make sure you can maintain the airway. There are three ways you can support the head, the first one is to use your hands on either side of the head to hold it still. Try and avoid covering their ears so they can still hear you, talk to them directly to avoid them having to turn their head to look at you and avoid yes-no questions to avoid them nodding or shaking their head.

Using your hands can be very tiring, so you can support their head between your knees on either side of their head or lay down on the floor to support their head with your hands. Laying down will allow you to hold their head for longer periods of time.

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