In this episode we answer a question that was sent in by a Rescue Fan that wondered what the best course of action would be if a person suffered a neck injury on the ice. It’s important to remember that if the patient has any pain, movement minimization is the goal while maintaining the patients core body temperature while waiting for EMS to arrive. If the person doesn’t feel hurt, they may elect to slowly get to their feet and recover. If they do feel pain, numbness, tingling, weakness or loss of consciousness, the best course of treatment in my opinion is to call 911 or EMS. I hope it helps.
Imagine riding your road bike and as you near a curve in the bike trail hitting speeds of around 17 miles per hour your front tire instantly goes flat. Now you’re trying to corner on a metal rim sliding across the pavement which has as much traction as an ice skating rink. This is exactly what happened to Tom Monett, cycling enthusiast, big mountain skier, hiker and mountain climber. As Tom’s bike slid out from underneath him, he didn’t have enough time to catch himself let alone think about what was about to happen. As his head hit the pavement, and his ribs began to break, his wisdom to ride with personal protective equipment most likely made the difference between life and death. Watch this episode of royonrescue to see the full interview and hear his story about surviving a high speed cycling crash.
A concerned Good Samaritan(G.S.) wrote me a question and I thought it would be good to share it with you on RoyOnRescue(ROR).
G.S.: “In my scenario, the person fell down hit their head twice and then fell onto the floor face down. I am now wondering if we did the right thing. We picked the person up and carried her outside for fresh air where she revived immediately. We then monitored the person but nothing else seemed to be wrong with her.”
ROR: It sounds like the story ends well regardless of the treatment given which is always great! There may be a few things that we cold improve upon for the future. Let’s analyze what happened and what we might be able to do differently next time to protect and help the fall victim even more.
Whenever a person falls, there is a risk for head and neck injury. As stated in your scenario, this particular person did hit their head… twice. This would be enough mechanism of injury that instead of moving the person right away, we would want to minimize movement while assessing the person for any signs or symptoms of other injuries. We can minimize movement by softly but confidently speaking to the patient who is either conscious or unconscious and place one hand carefully on the victims forehead to help remind them and us not to move their head and neck. Try to find out if the person is breathing on their own and if their skin color is somewhat normal while they are lying in the position found. If they are breathing and skin color is good, we do not have to move the person before Emergency Medical Services arrive.
If assessing the person’s airway is impossible in this position,(face down) we may need to carefully roll the person over onto their back even if we suspect that there may be a serious neck or back injury. We do not move spinal chord injury patients unless they need cpr, their airway is compromised or they are in danger due to the environment.
If we determine that we must roll, or move a person with a suspected spinal chord injury, utilize several people if available, in order to minimization spinal movement. If you are the only person, then do the job the best way you can and follow the “Life Over Limb” philosophy. If the person wakes and is not complaining of any pain or numbness and they don’t allow you to minimize movement because they want to get up, they should be allowed to do so. It is not wise to hold the person down as this can complicate injuries the patient already sustained trying to wrestle. Keep encouraging the person to stay still until help arrives by the ambulance service. Keep the person in a position of comfort with confident words of encouragement like, you are in good hands, I’m going to take good care of you and help is on the way. If they still refuse treatment, there is little you can do at that point other than inform 911 of what has happened.
It sounds as though you did the best you could for this person at the time. Remember, most people don’t even get involved when someone needs help. The fact that you did get involved and tried to help makes you a natural rescuer!
I thought a video clip of all different fainting episodes would not only get my point across that falls can cause injuries to the person even if the fainting spell or the reason they fell wasn’t serious. I hope you don’t feel faint watching others faint but if you want to see what happens to people when they fall from standing up, take a look at the clip below.
P.S. One of the most effective rescue moves for a person who is starting to faint, is to simply help them to the floor before they fall!
Ever wonder why some people die after an accident that should have never killed them, while others survive accidents that you know should have resulted in death? So does Roy Shaw, EMT-Paramedic, and in this video blog Roy takes a look at how to handle these situations from a rescuer standpoint and how to prepare ourselves in case an emergency does arise. Roy believes that when it comes to providing life saving CPR, a pound of prevention is worth a ton of cure! Roy continues to urge everyone to take a CPR training before an emergency arises, so that you might know what to do in order to give the victim the best chance at survival. The only thing tragic about CPR is when one takes it for a joke.
Watch the second very interesting video which shows a professional skydiver who survives a parachute failure and a 12,000 foot fall and lives to tell about it! For more on injuries from falling out of bed, click this link. http://www.disabled-world.com/artman/publish/bedfalls.shtml