Mind Body Spirit Martial Arts
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Martial Arts First Aid:

Head and Neurological

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Learning to distinguish between a minor or major head injury and being able to implement basic first aid (as described in this chapter) can make the difference. It may save a student's life or prevent the worsening of his or her injury.

If a student has a seizure, fit, or epilepsy, call 911 no matter how mild the episode. When a student goes into a seizure, note the time, the limbs involved and how long the seizure lasts.

When a student faces an opponent who is attacking with kicks, punches or other attacks, the eyes are always at risk. Even a simple mistake like a finger poke or a uniform sleeve or cuff slashing across the eye can cause damage to the eye. The human eye is perhaps the most important of our five senses. Without vision, we would have to rely on our other four senses to function.

Each part of the eye plays a distinct role in our ability to see. When a foreign object enters any part of the eye, it interferes with our sight and causes discomfort or pain.

Spotting a student's eyes drifting upward or their face going pale is a good indication of an oncoming fainting spell, especially if chokes or strangulations are being applied. The unexpected fainting of a student is cause for immediate concern and requires prompt emergency reaction.

Cranial or facial injuries may be caused by blows or impacts to the head and/or face, and may or may not leave visible signs such as cuts, gashes, bruising, bleeding, swelling, or visible deformity. A head injury may be mild, moderate, or severe. The student may or may not lose consciousness. There may be damage to the bones of the cranium or face, or to the internal structures of the head, even if the head is not struck directly.

You are limited in applying physical first aid to a student who has received a facial fracture. This is because trauma of the facial area often occurs together with other internal injuries. If you suspect that a student has a facial fracture, no matter how slight, the student must receive immediate medical attention.

Known as a mandible fracture, an upper jaw fracture can be severe. More frequently, it is likely the nose is broken.

Similar to an upper jaw fracture, a lower jaw fracture is also known as a mandible fracture. The lower jaw supports holds the lower teeth in position and moves when we speak when we are chewing food.

It is difficult to determine the extent of damage to the nose if a student suffers an external injury, internal injury, or fracture to the nose. The degree of injury depends on the force of the blow, the speed of impact, the angle and/or direction of the impact.

There are various types of tooth damage. A minor fracture involves chipping the tooth's enamel layer. In this case, the tooth is not displaced, and bleeding does not occur. Severe fracture: a fracture of the tooth with exposure to the dental pulp. Partial avulsion: a fracture of the tooth where the root becomes loosened. Complete avulsion: a fracture of the tooth where the tooth becomes displaced and is out of its normal position.

If a student has a nose bleed (not due to an impact) during a martial arts class, remove them from the training area, away from onlookers, so they won't feel self-conscious. This will also keep blood off the training surface. It is important to have the student hold their head back to stop the bleeding. A tissue can be provided for the blood.

A loss of consciousness, coma, or stupor (a state of reduced consciousness) is when a student becomes incapable of sensing or responding to people and other external stimuli in their environment. The student will not be capable of responding when spoken to, and he/she will be unaware of his/her surroundings.