ACEP’s New Policy on Spinal Precautions

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) just released “EMS Management of Patients with Potential Spinal Injury“.

Bottom line:

Spinal motion restriction should be considered for patients who meet validated indications such as the NEXUS criteria or Canadian C-Spine rules.

Backboards should not be used as a therapeutic intervention or as a precautionary measure either inside or outside the hospital or for inter-facility transfers.  Spinal immobilization should not be used for patients with penetrating trauma without evidence of spinal injury.

EMS medical directors should assure EMS providers are properly educated on assessing risk for spinal injury and neurologic assessment, as well as on performing patient movement in a manner that limits additional spinal movement in patients with potential spinal injury.  Patient movement and transfer practices should be coordinated with receiving facility personnel.

Go check it out here.

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