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What is Suspected Spinal Injury Protocol and What Should You Do If You Suspect Spinal Injury?

April 27th, 2018
By Zach Christiansen of The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm, A Professional Law Corporation posted in spinal cord injury on Friday, April 27, 2018.

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana. Spinal injuries can be life altering, resulting in loss of motion, life-long paralysis, and result in major lifestyle changes for the patients who suffer them. What individuals may not always know is that when rendering first aid to a suspected spinal injury victim, you can sometimes make an injury worse if you are not careful. Individuals could find themselves rendering first aid if they are on the scene of a car crash, witness a sports accident, or are around a victim when a slip and fall occurs.


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According to the Mayo Clinic, a spinal injury should be suspected if a victim is unconscious or if they are not fully conscious. If the person cannot move parts of their body or won’t move their head or neck, a spinal injury should be suspected. If the person feels weak or numb in parts of their body, a spinal injury should be suspected.

So, what can you do? First of all, call for help and try to keep the person as still as possible. Do not move the person unless you absolutely must for safety reasons–a fire, or a car that might burst into flames. If the person is in the road, direct traffic around the person until help arrives, if you can do so safely. The Mayo Clinic also recommends that people rendering first aid don’t try to remove a helmet. Finally, Mayo Clinic also suggests that if you need to provide CPR technique, that you don’t turn the person’s head back when doing so.

According to the Christopher Reeve Foundation, patients who are moved to a level 1 trauma center will then be administered medicine to help control further spinal damage, so getting help for a spinal cord injury as soon as possible is important. It can be difficult to assess the full extent of a spinal injury in the immediate aftermath. Doctors will try to control swelling to minimize damage. In some cases, patients will receive surgery to prevent further damage.

If you are at the scene of an accident, it is important to do everything you can to help a victim. The good news is that Louisiana’s Good Samaritan Law protects individuals who render first aid from lawsuits stemming from damages caused by the help they tried to offer. In order for a victim to successfully sue a “good Samaritan” they would have to show that the person was grossly negligent. This can be difficult to do, unless the person rendering aid has medical training and completely violated these protocols.

However, if you or a loved one suffered a spinal cord injury due to the actions or negligence of another person or driver, you may have rights under the law. You may be entitled to receive damages to cover your medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm are spinal cord injury lawyers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana who work closely with victims and families to help them seek the damages they may deserve. Learn more about how we help victims with catastrophic injuries at

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