Management of potentially serious neck injuries

  1. Take control.
  2. Approach with MILS.
  3. DR ABC assessment.
  4. Ensure help.
  5. Don’t move unless absolutely necessary (e.g. obstructed airway or not breathing).
  6. Keep warm and wait for help.
  7. Reassess.

Although undoubtedly a very scary moment for anyone involved, the management priorities in serious neck injuries remain the same as any other emergency and can be addressed through DR ABC and MILS. If they have an open airway and are breathing, then they need not be moved. Protect the neck with MILS and ensure help is on its way. Having an open airway and breathing remains the absolute priority as without it the casualty will die. Spinal injuries should not be moved. However, if you are unable to confidently establish that the airway is open and they are breathing, then they must be moved to do so. The easiest way to do this is via an emergency roll.