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Can a person survive internal decapitation?

On Behalf of | Dec 4, 2020 | commercial vehicle accidents

Sometimes injuries from a serious accident are not externally apparent. This is one of the reasons why emergency personnel will usually put a neck brace on you when removing you from an accident. It helps to stabilize your neck and prevent further injuries as they remove you from the vehicle.

One such situation in which you may not be aware right away of an injury is an internal decapitation, which Real Clear Science defines as the disconnection of the skull from the spine. It often results in damage to the brain stem, and more often than not, it is fatal. However, it is possible to survive this injury.

The right injury

Part of surviving an internal decapitation is the extent and location of the injury. If it is in the wrong spot, it will affect your heart and lung function, which makes it very hard to survive. However, if it leaves the vital areas within your brain still functioning, then your chance of survival increases dramatically.

The right rescue

Equally as important as the location of the injury is the handling of your body during the rescue. While it may be tough in some situations, it is essential that you don’t move and that rescue personnel secure your neck with a brace before moving you.

By stabilizing the neck, it helps to prevent additional separation and injury to the vital areas of the brain. You should also note that you may not realize the decapitation happened. It could have a very small connection remaining that allows you to move your neck. All it will take is a slight movement in the wrong direction to snap that connection.

The right treatment

Your doctors should immediately check your neck with an MRI or CT scan. That is the only way to diagnosis the condition. The next step is to fuse the skull and spine back together and provide additional stabilizing during healing. You will also need some physical therapy along the way to regain movement of your neck.