EMS Care Chapter 32 | Head, Neck & Spine Injuries
EMS Care Chapter 32 | Head, Neck & Spine Injuries | Head, Neck & Spine Injuries Training begins with an introduction to the care of the subject. We subsequently explore in-depth the following lessons:
Lesson 1: Anatomy & Physiology of the Head, Neck, & Spine
Lesson 2: Head, Neck & Brain Injuries
Lesson 3: Injuries to the Spine
Lesson 4: Patient Assessment & Care
Lesson 5: Patient Preparation and Transport
Caring for the patient with Head, Neck & Spine Injuries
We cover the following core concepts
- Diabetes and various diabetic emergencies.
- Understanding the anatomy of the nervous system, head, and spine.
- Identifying skull and brain injuries and their emergency care.
- Knowledge of trauma to the neck and related EMS care.
- Recognizing and assessing spinal injuries and their pre-hospital care. And,
- Awareness of spinal motion restriction issues and methods to immobilize various kinds of patients with potential spine injuries.
- If you only want to take the online course for CME credit, you can pay here. The fee for online-only does NOT include a skills session nor (re)certification. You will receive a certificate for CME credit after successful completion of the course.
- This course is part of the EMT Recertification Day 5 curriculum and the New Initial EMT Course. Hence, if you sign up for one of those courses, you will be automatically enrolled in this course. Click here for scheduled courses.
- To get credit for this course, you must watch all the lessons in their entirety, the course review, and pass the quiz at the end with a score of 75% or better.
An Excerpt from the course on Diabetic Emergencies and Altered Mental Status
So, with most head, neck and spine injuries, it’s best to perform a secondary assessment while en route to the hospital. Remember to check perfusion, motor function, and sensation in all extremities, prior to moving the patient.
Step 1 is to obtain a complete set of baseline vital signs. Some things to keep in mind are:
- Significant head injuries may cause the pulse to slow and the blood pressure to rise.
- With neurogenic shock, the blood pressure may drop and the heart rate may increase to compensate.
- Respirations will become erratic with complications from both head and spine injuries.
- Hypotension may be present with cervical or high thoracic spine injuries. The heart rate may become slow, or fail to increase in response to hypotension.
In addition to hands-on assessment, you should use monitoring devices to quantify your patient’s oxygenation and circulatory status.
- Again, oxygenation is recommended.
- Look for a pulse oximeter value above 95.
- If you have end tidal carbon dioxide monitoring equipment, look to maintain E T C O2 between 35 and 40 mm mercury.
Also, during your exam, as time permits:
- Examine the entire body using DCAP-BTLS.
Be sure to scrutinize the head, chest, abdomen, extremities, and back.