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MVA, EMS didn't use a backboard!!

Nurses   (3,709 Views | 39 Replies)

SafetyNurse1968 has 20 years experience as a ADN, BSN, MSN, PhD and specializes in Oncology, Home Health, Patient Safety.

12 Followers; 63 Articles; 20,396 Profile Views; 396 Posts

One of my nursing students just told me that yesterday she was driving home after an exam and saw a body lying in the middle of the highway. She pulled over, blocking traffic with her pickup truck (I shuddered at the thought...so unsafe! but I just listened - it was done and she lived...). She ran to the body and discovered two other students from our school attending to a woman who had been hit by a car. They stayed with her, she was breathing, but unconscious with visible wounds to the head. They comforted the driver of the vehicle as well - she was incredibly upset. EMS arrived first (it took about 10 minutes - the student said, "It seemed like forever" - seems like a long response time to me for one of the larger cities in a southeastern state. Here's where I freak out. She said, "EMS didn't put her on a backboard or stabilize her head." I can't even grasp this. Can anyone explain this behavior? I'm sure I can find out who was on that particular run, but I want to hear from ya'll first. Maybe I'm wrong, but I always thought that stabilizing the head and neck were the number one priority in an unwitnessed accident/victim unconscious.

Wondering what you would do? Should I try to track them down and report them? This student said several months ago she had called EMS to attend to her husband who was having chest pains and they hadn't known how to do a blood pressure. I am not typically reactionary and try to see all sides of a story, and of course the student could have misunderstood in the stress of the situation.

Would love some input.

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Orion81RN has 7 years experience.

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1 hour ago, SafetyNurse1968 said:

Wondering what you would do? Should I try to track them down and report them? This student said several months ago she had called EMS to attend to her husband who was having chest pains and they hadn't known how to do a blood pressure. I am not typically reactionary and try to see all sides of a story, and of course the student could have misunderstood in the stress of the situation.

Would love some input.

You're considering "tracking them down and reporting them?" Over a situation you heard 2nd hand of which you know nothing. I think you answered your own question regarding that when you stated you don't tend to be reactionary, try to understand all sides of a story, and that the student could have misunderstood.

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Pixie.RN has 12 years experience as a MSN, RN, EMT-P and specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN.

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Many EMS systems have algorithms to decide if c-spine immobilization is even indicated. There are times when it isn't indicated, based on assessment and physical indicators. And a backboard is merely a transport device. We're a little smarter prehospital these days, it's evidence-based practice just like we use inside the hospital doors. In this case, the unconscious person with a head injury would have ruled into a c-collar for me, potentially a backboard. But again, a backboard provides no real benefit to the patient.

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CharleeFoxtrot has 7 years experience as a ADN, RN.

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2 hours ago, SafetyNurse1968 said:

Wondering what you would do? Should I try to track them down and report them? This student said several months ago she had called EMS to attend to her husband who was having chest pains and they hadn't known how to do a blood pressure. I am not typically reactionary and try to see all sides of a story, and of course the student could have misunderstood in the stress of the situation.

Would love some input.

(types...erases....types again...erases...inhales...exhales)

Since I'm having trouble here following the TOS I'll just go with a second hand report by a student would not be something I'd recommend you hang you outrage or your hat on.

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SafetyNurse1968 has 20 years experience as a ADN, BSN, MSN, PhD and specializes in Oncology, Home Health, Patient Safety.

12 Followers; 63 Articles; 396 Posts; 20,396 Profile Views

59 minutes ago, Orion81RN said:

You're considering "tracking them down and reporting them?" Over a situation you heard 2nd hand of which you know nothing. I think you answered your own question regarding that when you stated you don't tend to be reactionary, try to understand all sides of a story, and that the student could have misunderstood.

You are so right! I was wondering more about the need for Cspine immobilization- got my question answered in the thread. Sorry I wasn’t more clear, I was confused:)

3 minutes ago, CharleeFoxtrot said:

(types...erases....types again...erases...inhales...exhales)

Since I'm having trouble here following the TOS I'll just go with a second hand report by a student would not be something I'd recommend you hang you outrage or your hat on.

Yes, totally right- thanks!

37 minutes ago, Pixie.RN said:

Many EMS systems have algorithms to decide if c-spine immobilization is even indicated. There are times when it isn't indicated, based on assessment and physical indicators. And a backboard is merely a transport device. We're a little smarter prehospital these days, it's evidence-based practice just like we use inside the hospital doors. In this case, the unconscious person with a head injury would have ruled into a c-collar for me, potentially a backboard. But again, a backboard provides no real benefit to the patient.

That’s what I needed-thank you! I’ll share with the student.

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SafetyNurse1968 has 20 years experience as a ADN, BSN, MSN, PhD and specializes in Oncology, Home Health, Patient Safety.

12 Followers; 63 Articles; 396 Posts; 20,396 Profile Views

6 minutes ago, CharleeFoxtrot said:

(types...erases....types again...erases...inhales...exhales)

Since I'm having trouble here following the TOS I'll just go with a second hand report by a student would not be something I'd recommend you hang you outrage or your hat on.

Hey, what does TOS mean? Feeling dumb!

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Pixie.RN has 12 years experience as a MSN, RN, EMT-P and specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN.

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8 minutes ago, SafetyNurse1968 said:

Hey, what does TOS mean? Feeling dumb!

The "terms of service," the rules that govern the website. Apparently Charlee wanted to cuss a little. 😉 No worries!

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FolksBtrippin is a BSN, RN and specializes in Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Public Health.

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Definitely not something to report.

But it sounds like your students are interested and engaged. That's wonderful. I'm sure you can make their story into a teachable moment.

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14 Followers; 4,212 Posts; 32,769 Profile Views

How did your students represent that the patient was moved from the roadway?

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Sour Lemon has 9 years experience.

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I can only imagine the juicy stories those expert students are coming up with about you. 🍋

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CharleeFoxtrot has 7 years experience as a ADN, RN.

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8 hours ago, Pixie.RN said:

The "terms of service," the rules that govern the website. Apparently Charlee wanted to cuss a little. 😉 No worries!

Exactly. Being a first responder for decades before I changed careers makes me a bit sensitive towards people not trained in that type care spouting book knowledge. Makes my teeth itch.

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SafetyNurse1968 has 20 years experience as a ADN, BSN, MSN, PhD and specializes in Oncology, Home Health, Patient Safety.

12 Followers; 63 Articles; 396 Posts; 20,396 Profile Views

7 hours ago, JKL33 said:

How did your students represent that the patient was moved from the roadway?

She said no collar was used. The patient was lifted to rolling gurney.

2 hours ago, CharleeFoxtrot said:

Exactly. Being a first responder for decades before I changed careers makes me a bit sensitive towards people not trained in that type care spouting book knowledge. Makes my teeth itch.

I didn’t think about how my ignorance might be offensive. I’ll try to be more sensitive in the future. Thanks for your patience and for saving lives.

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