Section III. TREATING OTHER INJURIES
5-11. TREAT A CASUALTY WITH A SEVERE HEAD INJURY
About one in ten casualties with a head wound who are unconscious also have
a spinal injury. If a casualty has a fractured spine, the sharp edge of a fractured bone
could damage or sever the spinal cord. Always assume the casualty has a spinal
fracture if he is unconscious or has signs of a severe head wound such as a fractured
skull or clear or bloody cerebrospinal fluid leaking from the nose or ear. If a spinal
injury is suspected, do not move the casualty unless you must move him to save his
life. For example, you would move the casualty (and yourself) out of a burning
building or position the casualty for mouth-to-mouth resuscitation if he is not breathing
and lying on his abdomen.
a. Immobilize any casualty with a suspected spinal injury. Subcourse MD0533,
Treating Fractures in the Field, gives procedures for immobilizing a casualty with a
suspected spinal fracture.
b. If an open head wound is present, dress the wound to protect it from further
c. If cerebrospinal fluid is leaking from an ear, apply a loose field dressing to
the ear using the procedures for applying a dressing to the side of the head
(paragraph 5-9). Cover the ear with the dressing. The dressing will absorb the
is also drainage from the other ear, pass the tails over the ear so they will provide
protection to that ear also.
5-12. TREAT A CASUALTY WITH A CLOSED HEAD INJURY
A closed head injury may be serious even if there does not appear to be a
fracture of the skull or spinal injury. A casualty with a closed head injury should be
evaluated by a medical officer. Monitor a casualty with a closed head injury. Continue
to check the casualty's level of consciousness every 15 minutes and take vital signs.
Evacuate the casualty if signs and symptoms of increased intracranial pressure are
5-13. TREAT A CASUALTY WITH AN INJURY TO THE EYE
Brief descriptions of treatments for some eye injuries are given in the following
paragraphs. If the casualty is wearing contact lenses, do not attempt to remove them.
Evacuate a casualty with any of the described injuries. Additional information is given
in Subcourse MD0547, Eye, Ear, and Nose Injuries.