What technique should be used to open the airway of a casualty with a neck injury?

Answer

According to the Mayo Clinic, someone with a suspected neck or spinal injury should be offered first aid without moving the person's head or neck. The head should not be tilted back to open the airway if CPR is needed. Instead, the jaw should be gently lifted forward.

UCLA Health and ShareCare recommends two methods of opening the airway of someone with a suspected neck injury: the modified jaw thrust and the jaw lift. The modified jaw thrust is done by pushing the jaw forward from the sides of the lower jaw. The jaw lift is administered by holding the lower jaw and pulling it forward. Another suggested maneuver involves carefully tilting the head and lifting the head until the airway is opened.

According to the Mayo Clinic, if the injured person must be moved due to vomiting, choking, or if they are in danger of further injury, two people should assist each other in moving the body. One person should grab the head while the other places his hands along the side of the injured person and aligns the body while moving it to one side.

The Mayo Clinic points out that a neck or spinal injury should be suspected if the person shows loss of consciousness, complains of severe neck or back pain, can't move or has an oddly positioned back.

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