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Wilderness Environ Med. 2013 Sep;24(3):241-52. doi: 10.1016/j.wem.2013.03.004. Epub 2013 Jul 1.

Wilderness Medical Society practice guidelines for spine immobilization in the austere environment.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Texas Health Sciences Center, San Antonio, TX (Dr Quinn). Electronic address:


In an effort to produce best-practice guidelines for spine immobilization in the austere environment, the Wilderness Medical Society convened an expert panel charged with the development of evidence-based guidelines for management of the injured or potentially injured spine in an austere (dangerous or compromised) environment. Recommendations are made regarding several factors related to spinal immobilization. These recommendations are graded based on the quality of supporting evidence and balance between the benefits and risks or burdens for each factor according to the methodology stipulated by the American College of Chest Physicians. A treatment algorithm based on the guidelines is presented.

Copyright © 2013 Wilderness Medical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


cervical spine clearance; cervical spine immobilization; cervical spine injury; spinal immobilization; spinal injury; spinal trauma

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