How we should act when a sportsman suffers a concussion

Everything normal until in the minute 84 Fernando Torres suffered a spectacular fall fruit of a strong encounter with a rival when trying to get to receive a air balloon Torres suffered a blow to the back of the neck and then fell to the ground, slamming his head and losing consciousness.

His teammates and the rival team were very quick to give the alarm when they saw that the striker did not move, and the toilets immediately went into the field to rescue him. The players first succumbed to Torres, taking care that his tongue did not interfere with breathing, all in a very tense atmosphere. But do we really know what we have to do in the face of such a situation?

The video is creepy: it seems that Torres loses knowledge already with the first blow and then falls to lead to the ground. Fortunately, he has been able to leave the hospital on his own foot hours later and is well, but has suffered a head injury that could have had a much worse prognosis.

The first thing to do in these situations is to check if the patient is aware, and in case you have lost consciousness, as in the case of Torres, check if you breathe and immediately notify the emergency services that may come to help us.

Do not “try to get your tongue out”: the tongue does not swallow and we can cause you a greater injury than you have

It is very important not to manipulate the patient: never to move the neck (in fact the assists take him later with the collar to immobilize position), not to catch or to mobilize of abrupt way to who has suffered the injury. It is understandable that with the tension that is experienced at those moments we may want to move the patient to see if he responds, but moving his head and neck can make his injury worse or create new or more serious injuries.

Once the assists arrive, which in the case of Torres was immediately, we must withdraw leaving space and allow them to do their job. It does not make sense that we are lumped on top of the patient.

The importance of knowing cardiopulmonary resuscitation techniques

If the patient is unconscious and does not breathe, it is necessary to perform CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation : this is a technique that, for safety, we should all know how it is done correctly, since at any given moment it can help us save a life. If we detect a cardiac arrest, we notify the emergency services and immediately begin to perform the cardiac massage, the chances that the person survives up to 70%.

The steps to follow are those …

  • The patient’s chest is discovered and the mid-point of the sternum is sought.
  • At that point the heel of the hand is supported and, with the help of the other hand, compressions are started at a rate of at least 100 compressions per minute (between 100 and 120) depressing the thorax about five centimeters in each of the compressions.
  • Only if we have training in this respect , after a minute of heart massage we proceed to clear the airways with the front-chin maneuver : the palm of our hand rests on the patient’s forehead, is pulled back slightly from the head and at the same time he pulls his chin down to open his mouth. Ventilations are then started whenever a barrier device is available (pocket mask or mouth-to-mouth protector).
  • The ventilations will be performed at a rate of two ventilations for every 30 compressions, until emergency services arrive or until the patient recovers spontaneously.
  • If the patient recovers, we will place him in lateral decubitus position and wait for the arrival of the emergency services while we continue observing him.

If we do not have training in CPR we only have to continue performing the cardiac massage until the arrival of emergency services.

Knowing these first aid techniques can help us save a life.

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