Head, Neck, and Back Injuries

Head, Neck, and Back Injuries


“Elizabeth, are you okay?” “Elizabeth…” “…are you alright?” “Maria, go call 911 and then come back, okay?” “I might need your help.” “Elizabeth, are you okay?” “She must have fallen.” “That arm feels okay.” “She’s breathing.” “And she’s got a pulse.” “Elizabeth, can you hear me?” “Can you hear me?” “Maria, are they on the way?” “Okay, good, good.” So in this scenario, we had about a 12 year old female who fell at a height above her head, and she landed on a somewhat soft, but firm ground. This is gonna be something that’s gonna lead us to think about head, neck or back injury as we begin our assessment. I place a hand on the forehead, to make sure that I’m not moving the neck excessively. We’re making sure to check for the airway, breathing and circulation. In this case she was breathing, she did have a pulse. So we knew she was stable with airway, breathing and circulation. Skin color is good. Now we’re going to make sure that we’re checking the arms for obvious fractures and deformity. We’re feeling one side of the chest, and then the other. One side of the ribs, and then the other. Abdomen and then the other. Pelvis, hips, legs. And we see that there is no crepitus, which is crunching noises, and we also realize that there is no real deformity there, which tells me, probably she got knocked out when she fell, but we want to take precautions. We activated EMS and sent a reliable runner to call 911, and then to come back and let us know they’re on the way. And then in the mean time, as long as their airway, breathing and circulation is within a stable spot, we can then hold the head still, monitor the patient frequently, and wait for EMS to arrive.

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