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Spinal immobilisaton in pre-hospital and emergency care: A systematic review of the literature

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journal contribution
posted on 2015-06-04, 00:00 authored by N Hood, Julie ConsidineJulie Considine
BACKGROUND: Spinal immobilisation has been a mainstay of trauma care for decades and is based on the premise that immobilisation will prevent further neurological compromise in patients with a spinal column injury. The aim of this systematic review was to examine the evidence related to spinal immobilisation in pre-hospital and emergency care settings. METHODS: In February 2015, we performed a systematic literature review of English language publications from 1966 to January 2015 indexed in MEDLINE and Cochrane library using the following search terms: 'spinal injuries' OR 'spinal cord injuries' AND 'emergency treatment' OR 'emergency care' OR 'first aid' AND immobilisation. EMBASE was searched for keywords 'spinal injury OR 'spinal cord injury' OR 'spine fracture AND 'emergency care' OR 'prehospital care'. RESULTS: There were 47 studies meeting inclusion criteria for further review. Ten studies were case series (level of evidence IV) and there were 37 studies from which data were extrapolated from healthy volunteers, cadavers or multiple trauma patients. There were 15 studies that were supportive, 13 studies that were neutral, and 19 studies opposing spinal immobilisation. CONCLUSION: There are no published high-level studies that assess the efficacy of spinal immobilisation in pre-hospital and emergency care settings. Almost all of the current evidence is related to spinal immobilisation is extrapolated data, mostly from healthy volunteers.

History

Journal

Australasian emergency nursing journal

Volume

18

Pagination

118-137

Location

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Open access

  • Yes

ISSN

1574-6267

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article, C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2015, Elsevier

Issue

3

Publisher

Elsevier