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Board to Death: Improving Spinal Immobilization in Three Steps


Spinal injuries cause an estimated 6,000 deaths and 5,000 new cases of quadriplegia each year. It’s no wonder that EMS providers have been taught, “Better to board them all than miss a single injury.” But universal spinal immobilization has its own costs and risks, and there are better options. Should we be “boarding” everyone, no one, or somewhere in between? What is “safe” and what are the liabilities? This program examines EMS field care of traumatic c-spine injuries evaluating different selective spinal stabilization protocols, pros and cons of common spinal stabilization tools and techniques and methods for providers of any level to help their system adopt and implement these best practices.


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