Ideally not, we need to maintain the airway in the position found. We would only turn the casualty if the airway is compromised or we need to leave the casualty alone.
When suspecting a spinal injury, you need to take into account how the injury occurred. Ideally we do not move them unless we need to leave them alone to call 999/112 or their airway is compromised.
Should you move a spinal injury?
Can you identify a sign or symptom of a Spinal Injury?
Pain or tenderness in the neck or back, pins and needles, lack of movement.
Look at the mechanics of injury, what caused it? If the incident suggests the spine could be damaged then always treat for it
What percentage of major injuries have a spinal injury?
Luckily this stat is very low. 2%
Common causes include:
- Falling from a height
- Falling from a moving vehicle
- Falling awkwardly
- Injury to the head or face
- Heavy object falling across the back
- Diving into a shallow pool and hitting the bottom
- Loss of control of limbs
- Loss of movement
- Breathing difficulty
- Abnormal sensations – tingling, pins and needles, burning
- Loss of bladder control
- Pain or bruising at site of injury
- A twist or step in the normal shape of the spine
- Call 999 / 112 for an ambulance
- Do not move the casualty unless they are in imminent danger.
- Reassure them
- Maintain their airway at all times
- Be prepared to act in case of vomit or airway restriction
- Encourage the casualty to stay still