How spinal cord injuries happen, precautions to take - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

How spinal cord injuries happen, precautions to take

Posted: Updated:
  • More newsMore>>

  • Immigrant children to be housed at Maxwell AFB

    Immigrant children to be housed at Maxwell AFB

    Thursday, July 24 2014 11:40 AM EDT2014-07-24 15:40:55 GMT
    Alabama Governor Robert Bentley confirms that Maxwell Air Force in Montgomery will be used to house immigrant children. The governor says he was notified of the decision by the federal government.More >>
    Alabama Governor Robert Bentley confirms that Maxwell Air Force in Montgomery will be used to house immigrant children. The governor says he was notified of the decision by the federal government.More >>
  • Pedestrian killed in Covington County

    Pedestrian killed in Covington County

    Thursday, July 24 2014 11:39 AM EDT2014-07-24 15:39:55 GMT
    A pedestrian died late Wednesday night after being struck by a vehicle in Covington County, confirms Alabama State Troopers.Richard Lee Swinson, 40, was walking on Alabama 55 approximately 3 miles northMore >>
    A pedestrian died late Wednesday night after being struck by a vehicle in Covington County, confirms Alabama State Troopers.Richard Lee Swinson, 40, was walking on Alabama 55 approximately 3 miles northMore >>
  • Official: Air Algerie flight 'probably crashed'

    Official: Air Algerie flight 'probably crashed'

    Thursday, July 24 2014 11:39 AM EDT2014-07-24 15:39:03 GMT
    The official Algerian news agency says an Air Algerie flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers has disappeared from the radar.More >>
    An Air Algerie flight carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria's capital disappeared from radar early Thursday over northern Mali, officials said. France's foreign minister said no wreckage had been found,...More >>
ATLANTA (CBS46) -

Creekside High School football player Deantre Turman died on Friday after taking a hit which broke his neck during a scrimmage.

Dr. Brandon Mines, with Emory Sports Medicine Center, is also a team physician with the Atlanta Falcons. He said you can't predict or prevent these types of injuries, but said there are precautions athletes at all levels can take.

Mines explains the spinal cord is vital to the rest of the body, and an injury, while rare, can be life-threatening.

"Breathing and conscious state, you're talking about upper spinal cord injuries, head injuries. If you sever your spinal cord high up like this young boy had, you will completely be no motor function. You can't breathe, your lungs won't expand," Mines said.

Mines recalls only a handful of similar accidents.

"It doesn't take a very hard hit. It takes just the right or wrong angle that you can't see with the naked eye. You're talking just small degrees off of where you'd expect a normal hit to occur. The area of concern where you're going to have a death occur is if it's high up enough in the vertebrae so first vertebrae is up here, second and third," Mines said.

The medical examiner found Turman fractured his third vertebra.

Mines said athletes take pre-participation exams which check neck motion and look for risk factors. That and proper tackling techniques are the two keys to prevention.

"We do work with youth kids in youth football to tackle properly and to limit these things from occurring, because decades ago, we know there were a lot more spinal injuries because of spearing and putting the head down in tackling. So we teach kids look where they're tackling so they're not leading with their head," Mines said.

Mines said it only takes a split second for a wrong position or hit to change a life but he stresses to parents these injuries are extremely rare.

Copyright 2013 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow