A fall involving a heavy impact on the spine or one that is absorbed by the legs can cause injuries to the spine. STEP 1: RECOGNIZE SYMPTOMS Approximately 75% of spinal injuries are stable. This means a vertebral body can be broken, but still be stable in the spinal column. The injured person doesn’t experience any loss of function or tingling sensations from such an injury, and is often not in pain. This sort of injury is frequently only detected some time after the accident, when a pain in the back doesn’t get better. An on-the-spot body check can identify the injury right away. For the remaining 25% of cases, damage to the spine results directly in symptoms such as tingling, numbness, problems with motor functions in the arms or legs, and pain in the back. STEP 2: MAKE AN EMERGENCY CALL A quick emergency call will get prompt help from a professional rescue team! STEP 3: RELIEVING SPINAL ALIGNMENT POSITION The injured person should be moved as little as possible. In all cases, heat loss is to be minimized and spinal alignment maintained (with the patient lying on their back). If the patient is in a “twisted” position, they should be carefully laid out flat with their spine aligned. This should be done together with them and extremely slowly. The exception is only if the injured person does not wish to be moved under any circumstances. In this case, you shouldn’t force them. They know their body and are best able to judge if something is stuck. STEP 4: TAKE GOOD PSYCHOLOGICAL CARE OF THE PATIENT Accident victims with a spinal injury will be very concerned they may suffer paralysis. The better psychological care the first responder takes of the injured person, the calmer they will be when the rescue team takes over.