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C-Spine collars.....best for Prehospital use

Pret Bjorn p.bjorn at netzero.net
Sun Aug 17 13:06:21 BST 2008

We don't disagree much here.  But the problem, as you've observed, is mostly
with the habits and choices of providers (application and duration) rather
than the device.  The board is -- as I observe every couple of months on the
list -- just a big freaking splint.

As for all the straps and swaddling and confinement, such serves exclusively
to allow the patient to be safely carried and conveyed.  Hospital beds don't
trip over curbs or hit frost heaves or get rear-ended.

Until you can improve on plastic boards for their discrete indications, then
let's focus on getting the patients on and off them as quickly and safely as


-----Original Message-----
From: trauma-list-bounces at trauma.org [mailto:trauma-list-bounces at trauma.org]
On Behalf Of Mike Smertka
Sent: Saturday, August 16, 2008 10:30 PM
To: Trauma & Critical Care mailing list
Subject: RE: C-Spine collars.....best for Prehospital use

I can see they are good for getting people off the ground, but I think the
usefulness ends there. (I know some people who swear by scoop stretchers for
the same reason)The current US EMS practice of focing people onto them, and
all the straping and taping that follows I don't think helps and have seen
studies that show it actually harms. When I was first instructed on the use
of the spineboards, I was taught to pad all the voids and the actual board.
I cannot remember the last time I saw that done by anyone. I am sure you
have also seen people lay on them for hours as well. But the same person can
lay in a hospital bed with just a c collar and be considered in
precautions.(who is not physically restrained from protecting their own
airway) just my thoughts.

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