ANCHOR LEAD: FOR SOME PATIENTS, EMERGENCY TRANSPORT SHOULD NOT INVOLVE A BACKBOARD. ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Strapping people who’ve suffered gunshot or knife wounds down to a backboard before transporting them to the emergency department isn’t helpful, a Johns Hopkins study led by Elliott Haut has found.
HAUT: I think it’s a big question with patients with penetrating trauma, do they benefit from a spine immobilization with a board and a collar or do they do worse? And we were able to show that actually those patients did worse and had higher mortality, were twice as likely to die if they were spine immobilized before they got to the trauma center. :17
Haut says the reason is simple.
HAUT: I think a lot of it has to do with time. Time is of the essence. There are certain patients who get to the hospital quickly enough that we can save them with definitive care at the trauma center, whereas if they had been here five minutes later or ten minutes later they might not have been able to be saved by the trauma team. :14
Haut says this study clearly points to a needed change in standard operating procedures related to emergency transport, allowing EMTs to decide if a backboard is needed. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.