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First Aid for a Florida Spinal Cord Injury

If you have been in a car accident or have witnessed a slip and fall accident or other accident in which someone may have sustained a back injury, spinal cord injury, or neck injury, it is important that you avoid moving the patient. Serious complications can occur if you try to move someone with a spinal cord injury. In fact, permanent paralysis could occur. Instead, you should:
1) Evaluate the situation. The victim may have a spinal cord injury if he or she exhibits the following symptoms:
*Severe pain in the back or neck area.
*Weakness and/or numbness
*Loss of control of the bladder, bowel, or limbs
*Odd positioning of the neck or back
*Loss of consciousness
*Inability to move the neck
It is important to keep in mind that not every victim will display these symptoms. Therefore, it may be best to treat any case of severe head injury or any situation in which substantial force has impacted the back or head as a possible spinal cord injury.
2) Call 911 or other local emergency medical assistance.
3) Keep the person still. The main aim in a spinal cord injury is to prevent further injury, and this means keeping the person still. Placing heavy towels around the neck or even holding onto the head and neck can help prevent someone from moving their head and causing further injury.
4) If appropriate, provide basic first aid, being careful not to move the head and neck. If the victim needs CPR, for example, you must administer this without moving the head and neck. If the victim is vomiting and is in danger of chocking or if the victim must be moved from immediate harm, make sure that at least two people move the victim. While moving the patient, keep the neck, back, and head as aligned as possible to prevent further injury. However, only move the victim when no other alternative is present.
If you or a loved one has experienced a spinal cord injury as a result of someone’s recklessness or negligence, contact a Florida attorney. Florida law may entitle you to compensation that can help ensure that you get the best quality medical care possible. If you need to speak to an attorney, you can arrange for a free, no-obligation consultation with a qualified Florida attorney simply by calling 1- 800-535-2962 (1 800 5 FLAXMAN).