The possibility of a spinal injury must be considered anytime an
accident involves the head, face, neck, or back. Permanent paralysis may be
avoided if the injured person is kept from moving (immobilized) and is
Do not move the person if
you think he or she may have a spinal injury unless there is an immediate
threat to his or her life, such as a fire. If there is immediate danger, keep
the person’s head and neck supported and in a straight line while you move him
or her to a safe place.
Do not remove the person from the water if he or she has been in a diving accident. Float
the person face up in the water until help arrives.
Call 911 or other emergency services to transport the injured person if
you think he or she may have a spinal injury. This will reduce the risk of more
injury to the spinal cord.