The spinal backboard was originally designed as a device to remove people from a vehicle
A spinal board, is a patient handling device used primarily in pre-hospital trauma care.
It is designed to provide rigid support during movement of a person with suspected spinal or limb injuries.
Backboards are almost always used in conjunction with the following devices:
- a cervical collar with occipital padding as needed;
- side head supports, such as a rolled blanket or head blocks (head immobilizer) made specifically for this purpose, used to avoid the lateral rotation of the head;
- straps to secure the patient to the long spine board, and tape to secure the head
Spine boards are typically made of wood or plastic, although there has been a strong shift away from wood boards due to their higher level of maintenance required to keep them in operable condition and to protect them from cracks and other imperfections that could harbor bacteria.
Backboards are designed to be slightly wider and longer than the average human body to accommodate the immobilization straps, and have handles for carrying the patient. Most backboards are designed to be completely X-ray translucent so that they do not interfere with the exam while patients are strapped to them. They are light enough to be easily carried by one person, and are usually buoyant.
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