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Injury. 2008 Mar;39(3):323-6. Epub 2007 Sep 18.

A repeat audit of spinal board usage in the emergency department.

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Education and Research Centre, Wythenshawe Hospital, Southmoor Road, Wythenshawe, Manchester M23 9LT, United Kingdom.


An audit of spinal board usage in 2002 was repeated [Malik MHA, Lovell ME. Current spinal board usage in emergency departments across the UK. Int J Care Injured 2003;34:327-9]. It is acknowledged that this device should be used for extrication and transport, with usual removal after the primary survey. This repeat audit was carried out to try and discover whether there have been changes regarding the use of spinal boards since its publication. We found improvements have been made in some areas including the removal of patients from boards with 21% now removing patients immediately (5% previously) and 58% removing patients following clearance on the lumbar and thoracic spine by a senior clinician after log roll (52% previously). In 2006, 21% (43% previously) are still leaving patients on spinal boards routinely until radiological evidence provides clearance, 45% will place patients on boards after their arrival even if they were not on one in pre-hospital management (48% previously) and the number of boards the department owns, remained similar. In house audits of usage remained largely unchanged at 22%. We recommend ongoing departmental review of practice.

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