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Author Topic: Why am i almost surely dead when i snap my neck or spine?  (Read 13675 times)

Offline stana

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Hey guys, i havent done that much work on the skeltal system..stupid sillibus. But yea, why if i snap my neck or spine, does it kill me..my spine is only like my backbone to keep me held up.

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Offline turnipsock

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Why am i almost surely dead when i snap my neck or spine?
« Reply #1 on: 19/01/2008 01:12:05 »
yes, but the central nervous system runs up the middle of it. It controls things like breathing.

I think we will all know people that have died from a broken neck.
 

another_someone

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Why am i almost surely dead when i snap my neck or spine?
« Reply #2 on: 19/01/2008 01:22:05 »
Snapping your spine will not necessarily kill you - it depends on where you snap it - but it will almost certainly lead to paralysis.

You spinal cord is where all the control signals travel between your brain and the rest of your body travel.  It is like the trunk line in a telephone system between one city and another, and if you cut that trunk cable, then no calls can travel between the two cities.

Your brain is trying to control what your body is doing, from controlling what your arms and legs are doing, to controlling your heartbeat and lung function.  Depending on where your spinal cord is snapped as to where that trunk signalling system is broken, and how much of your body will cease to function.

If your spinal cord is broken near your lower back, then it will cause you to lose control of your legs, and be paralysed from the waist down, but will still leave you functioning from the waist up.

If your spinal cord is broken in the neck region, depending on where it is, it will at minimum cause quadriplegia (paralysis in both arms and legs), but may also cause you to cease to be able to control your lungs, which will mean that you will suffocate unless you are quickly put on artificial respiration (an iron lung, to force air into your lungs).

Another factor to bear in mind is that if not only your spinal cord is snapped, but the blood vassals travelling through your neck (your carotid artery, and the corresponding veins) are disrupted, then the blood supply to the brain will be disrupted, and the brain will die from oxygen starvation within a couple of minutes (you could be unconscious in under 1 minute).
 

Offline JnA

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Why am i almost surely dead when i snap my neck or spine?
« Reply #3 on: 19/01/2008 04:02:02 »
In the emergency aid industry they say "1-5 stay alive" which means that if you have a legion from C1 - C5 the airway is compromised.

The spinal cord itself is quite soft, about the consistency of toothpaste, it is surrounded by meninges, but the end result is still quite fragile. The bones that surround it, the vertebrae, can cause traumatic injury if they are moved due to accident. They often will 'dent' the spinal cord (called an incomplete injury), this can leave the person with some functions but not others. A complete spinal injury, where the cord is fully damaged will cease function below the point of injury
There are lots of charts online on what function loss will result from what injury. Of course they are not set in stone. But generally Cervical injuries can have complete or partial loss of function up to the nipple line, Thoracic injuries up to the bellybutton, Lumbar up to pelvis.
There are examples of people 'beating all the odds' but the reality of damaging your spinal cord is loss of function.

People also damage their 'spine', vertebrae, only, and might lose function initially (when the body goes into spinal shock) but will then regain most, if not all, of their function.

Here's the easter egg, whether you cause any damage to your spinal cord in an accident is mostly due to morphology. Some people just have a wider spinal column.
« Last Edit: 19/01/2008 04:04:18 by JnA »
 

Offline stana

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Why am i almost surely dead when i snap my neck or spine?
« Reply #4 on: 19/01/2008 10:10:39 »
After those 3 explinations..i went from knowing nothing about the spinal cord, to becoming a specialist on it! ;D

Thanks!
 

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Why am i almost surely dead when i snap my neck or spine?
« Reply #4 on: 19/01/2008 10:10:39 »

 

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