The Science Behind a Better Backboard
Dr. David Schenck
Trauma Technologies, Inc.
Spineboard immobilization is currently used to secure the patient after a traumatic injury to protect the integrity of the spinal column. The Cervical spine (neck) is the greatest area of risk involved in securing the traumatized patient. The American College of Neurosurgeons currently acknowledges the area of the 5th and 6th cervical region as being the most frequently injured area of the Cervical spine. General principals in spinal immobilization have utilized an average elevation of the head in comparison to the torso of 2cm to protect this area of the spine. Unfortunately, this calculation has been done under the assumption that adult patients are of similar body habitus ie: 90 Kg in weight and in generally good health. With the increasing average size of Adult America the original assumption is no longer true. Adult patients with additional tissue in the back of the torso now require greater elevation of the head in relation to the body to preserve the spinal canal from impingement while restrained and young children need to have their head 2-4cm below the torso due to a larger head-to-body ratio in the younger age group.
Though all of the current backboard companies have solved strengthening issues for boards due to the increasing weight issues of Adult America, No attention to the underlying reason for spinal immobilization has been targeted. The concavity of Trauma’s board does not run the full length of the board. This performs more than a comfort issue. Though it should provide some comfort it will also help adjust the aforementioned problems with Adults by pulling some of the Torso down in relation to the Head. In pediatric patients the transition area to flat head area will help to lay the head back helping to preserve the Cervical canal and further protecting the cervical spine in a greater number of patients. The strength of the backboard and carry capacity is also of concern and has been dealt with through the addition of many design features that add strength and improve rigidity.
Call us today at (814) 774-8219, for more information on how Trauma Technologies, Inc. can provide "patient comfort through product innovation" with our line of spine boards, pads and accessories!