Chapter 28 Head and Spine Injuries

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When immobilizing a trauma patient’s spine, the EMT manually stabilizing the head should not let go until:

the patient has been completely secured to the backboard.

You should be MOST suspicious that a patient has experienced a significant head injury if his or her pulse is:


In contrast to a cerebral concussion, a cerebral contusion:

involves physical injury to the brain tissue.

Hyperextension injuries of the spine are MOST commonly the result of:


A man jumped from the roof of his house and landed on his feet. He complains of pain to his heels, knees, and lower back. This mechanism of injury is an example of:

axial loading.

The five sections of the spinal column, in descending order, are the:

cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral, and coccygeal.

The Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) is used to assess:

eye opening, verbal response, and motor response.

A patient with a head injury presents with abnormal flexion of his extremities. What numeric value should you assign to him for motor response?


The central nervous system (CNS) is composed of the:

brain and spinal cord.

What part of the nervous system controls the body’s voluntary activities?


When assessing a patient with a head injury, you note the presence of thin, bloody fluid draining from his right ear. This indicates:

rupture of the tympanic membrane following diffuse impact to the head.

Which of the following statements regarding secondary brain injury is correct?

Hypoxia and hypotension are the two most common causes of secondary brain injury.

The ideal procedure for moving an injured patient from the ground to a backboard is:

the four-person log roll.

During your primary assessment of a 19-year-old unconscious male who experienced severe head trauma, you note that his respirations are rapid, irregular, and shallow. He has bloody secretions draining from his mouth and nose. You should:

suction his oropharynx for up to 15 seconds.

When activated, the sympathetic nervous system produces all of the following effects, EXCEPT:

pupillary constriction.

Once a cervical collar has been applied to a patient with a possible spinal injury, it should not be removed unless:

it causes a problem managing the airway.

An indicator of an expanding intracranial hematoma or rapidly progressing brain swelling is:

a rapid deterioration of neurologic signs.

Common signs and symptoms of a serious head injury include all of the following, EXCEPT:

a rapid, thready pulse.

Which of the following breathing patterns is MOST indicative of increased intracranial pressure?

Irregular rate, pattern, and volume of breathing with intermittent periods of apnea

A tight-fitting motorcycle helmet should be left in place unless:

it interferes with your assessment of the airway.

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