The Effectiveness of Backboards on Trauma Patient
TheEffectiveness of Backboards on Trauma Patient
TheEffectiveness of Backboards on Trauma Patient
Thepresent-day procedures of spinal immobilization are founded on thesplinting model. The practice works on the idea that fractured boneshave to be supported from top to bottom. However, because thevertebral column is composed of many bones, claims that there is thepossibility of isolating and immobilizing the injured bones may beinvalid. Therefore, the current medical procedures related tobackboards on trauma patients call for evidence-based practices (Hamet al., 2014). Medics, in their attempt to improve outcomes ofpatients, have the mandate to offer care that no one perceives ashaving bias. The 21st century clinical protocols must be based on themost effective scientific proofs while those that lack justificationof value must be restricted. Such evaluation may cause a positiverevolution in terms of prehospital spinal immobilization procedures(Wilczweski et al., 2012). The paper will seek to explore the logicalpieces of evidence for the effectiveness of backboards on traumapatients. The research study will utilize literature reviews onarticles related to the topic. An observational survey will beconducted at a trauma unit to evaluate the frequency of backboard useand their effectiveness in reinstating the patients’ conditions.Statistical methods will also be of essence in determining the scopeinterventions. The goal of the paper is to provide proof that thereis the need for more research on the effectiveness of backboards ontrauma patient for the future.
Aswill be proven in the course of the research, the support for the useof backboards on trauma patients has been a major source ofcontroversy between pre-hospital care specialists. The varyingendorsement by the professionals has been common because there is thelack of sufficient studies to demonstrate their effectiveness ontrauma patients. Nonetheless, the key strength of the need forresearch arises from the necessity of evidence-based techniques inmedicine. In other terms, it is a known fact that spinalimmobilization emerged from logical reasoning but not scientificresearch. As the study will demonstrate, there are ethical andpractical challenges involved with the use of backboards on traumapatients, and the continued application may imply that there is noprogress in medicine (Ham et al., 2014). The dilemma is coupled withthe fact that some patients end up in more devastating states thanthey were admitted.
Theresearch on this topic will help in ascertaining whether the use ofbackboards on trauma patients in reality alters their outcomes. Theuse of such equipment in immobilizing the spines of patients withtrauma is generally supported by historic models (Jacobson et al.,2008). However, critics have probed the efficacy of this kind ofimmobilization and have proposed the need for intensive researchabout the topic. Spinal immobilization methods should be at thecenter of trauma related trainings. Further, research in this areawill help to interrogate if there is a gap for scientists to differin their pre-hospital ways of handling patients with traumaticexperiences. It would be important to acknowledge the fact thatone-step in research paves way for further studies. With success inthe current evaluation, it would be easy for care professionals toformulate measures and know areas that deserve advancement. The otherindisputable strength of doing research on this topic is to helpcaregivers compare the conditions of those patients who areimmobilized using backboards with those who are not so that they canunderstand if they are doing their jobs appropriately (Wilczweski etal., 2012).
However,the research may not be comprehensive in invalidating all the reviewsthat are in support of the use of backboards on trauma patients. Sucha task may be extensive and past the scope of a single study. Inaddition, being that the history of caregiving is one that does notallow automatic transition, it may be difficult to implement therecommendations from this single study on a spontaneous basis.Further research may be needed to give it more weight so that therevocation or increased use of the backboards can gain universalsupport (Wilczweski et al., 2012). Some critics may disregard anyattempt to revoke the use of the equipment because it may be a showthat medicine is actually being reversed instead of being advanced.
Theuncertainty that surrounds the use of backboards on patients withtrauma is a major enabler that may make the outcomes of this studyreadily implementable. It may be an important breakthrough in the21st century clinical revolution. With this study, patients will beguaranteed that the type of care they are being offered is that whichmeets their demands and one that does not deny them the chance forpositive outcomes. As opposed to the present day non-evidence basedpractices in pre-hospital trauma management, the research will be asure way of encouraging clinical experts that their activities meetthe requirements of the modern day medicine (Jacobson et al., 2008).
Moreover,given the emerging prejudice directed to the use of backboards aswell as the use of related measures in clinical practice, manypatients would be willing to tell their stories regarding theexperiences they have while using the equipment. As a result, itwould be easier to have a larger sample sizes for making comparisons.Even though not largely pronounced, but there are a number ofevidences that show the demerits of the backboards on patients withtrauma. For example, Merrifield and Battle (2007) point out to asituation in which a patient was placed on a blackboard but found theexperience more unbearable because of the pain he had while awaitingsurgery (Merrifield and Battle, 2007). Just like the patient in thiscase, many accident victims have become paralyzed even innon-critical situations after they are placed on the equipment.
However,the major barrier to the implementation of the study is thelong-standing history of the use of backboards on trauma patients. Itis a form of immobilization that was introduced by the supposedpioneers of medicine. The implication is that there is currently astronger form of common faith in the efficiency of backboards, whichmakes changes morally intolerable at the moment. The caregivers havethe notion that immobilizing their patients using the backboards isthe first step to providing skillful care to the trauma patients. Onthe other hand, the patients’ families have a feeling that thisform of spinal immobilization is what may possibly help their lovedones come out of their conditions faster (Ham et al., 2014). Nearlyeveryone has some degree of opinion regarding the benefits of thebackboards except some patients who have realized the discomfort.
Likewise,any study that attempts to establish that the backboards lackbenefits may be considered as unfeasible and implementable. Even ifthe research would isolate a scenario where patients are incompletelyrestrained using the backboards, the existing standards of medicinewould mandate that any new study should only aim to rectify thesituation. Unfortunately, without well-planed control trials forrelating immobilization and partial mobilization, it would be wrongto conclude that the use of backboards on patients with traumaimproves their outcomes (Wilczweski et al., 2012).
Nonetheless,the barriers to the implementation of this study can be curbed by theuse of randomized control trials of spinal immobilization. This mightbe achievable because the use of the backboards is only common in thefirst world nations with only a smaller percentage of third worldcountries being involved. The notion that this form of immobilizationis the only way to successful healing can be countered by reviewingthe scenario in regions such as India and Africa where the system hasnot been highly adopted. One would realize that as much as the thirdworld medicine does not rely on this technique, the highestpercentage of their trauma patients are able to heal faster becauseof the comfort they have. The case is different in the U.S. wheremedical practitioners believe that they cannot go to the next step oftreating trauma patients without first immobilizing them on thebackboards (Kwan et al., 2001).
Itis important to reaffirm that the study attempts to attest to theefficacy of backboards on patients with trauma conditions. Jacobsonet al. (2008) suggest that cervical collars are significant instabilization of the spine but are among the key causers of occipitalpressure ulcers (Jacobson et al., 2008). From this, it appears thatthe restricted movement of the spinal bones within their cavities iswhat causes further damage. The added injury is attributed to thebackboard because as it limits the movement of the vertebral columnthere is more pressure caused in any attempt to move. It is expectedthat the data from the participants would reveal that spinalimmobilization is worse than leaving the patient to stay in ahorizontal position (Ham et al., 2014).
Furtherexploration may reveal that most immobilization procedures cause poorblood flow, which causes risk factors such as Occipital PressureUlcers. As a result, the study may act as a prompt for more scholarsto consider being dynamic by conducting research on alternatives tobackboards rather than focusing on ways to develop the equipment.Caregivers attending to chronic trauma clients will have to showinvolvement to help in guaranteeing the success of futureinnovations. In such a case, immobilization using the purportedlyharmful backboards may not be a necessity. More importantly, traumaexperts may know how to go about ensuring better outcomes ofcritically ill patients with an understanding that the conditionmakes one be at a higher risk for injury, hence the need for extracare in carriage (Merrifield and Battle, 2007).
Withouta changed outlook on the effectiveness of backboards on traumapatients, it would be impossible for care providers to realize if theindividuals in this condition are safe or not. The outcomes of thisresearch will help in ensuring that splinting is carried outappropriately in every case of immobilized patient. The nursing andhealth care service may benefit from the contributions of this studyby enabling the individual caregivers to know the best practices inpatient immobilization (Wilczweski et al., 2012). Besides, the studymay act as a prompt for the health care service to establish testcenters where nurses can continue their training and improvecompetence. In addition, the research would be important in remindingthe health care service regarding the need for constant review ofhealth care to ensure the existence of evidence-based practice. Thesocieties, who are the actual consumers of health services, willbenefit from the research by having a new source of hope for theirloved ones who have been caught up in distressing conditions(Merrifield and Battle, 2007). They will no longer have to worry thateveryone who is hospitalized with trauma has to be placed on thebackboards.
Inevery clinical research, the contributions made by a student researchassistant are always undisputable. In this case, the assistant willhelp by being the overseer in the actual fieldwork. The aide willalso help the student in conducting constant assessment of patients’perception about the backboards. The entire activity of fieldwork isalways taxing because the researcher has to do measurements and planschedules. However, the research assistant will help by acting asboth the administrator and director (Merrifield and Battle, 2007). Bydoing so, the total burden of the research will be spread between twopeople, which means that the time taken for completion will beshorter.
Inconclusion, the review of literature has proven that caregivers arenot succeeding in their roles to offer pre-hospital care in agreementwith the current evidence-based practices. The use of backboards ontrauma patients may be risky but there is no enough evidence toconfirm this account. Therefore, as per the proposal, there is theneed for research to ensure that the backboards are effective or noton trauma patients. With success in this topic, it would be easy toeducate caregivers regarding the best approaches for handling traumapatients at the pre-hospital stage. The health care service must alsoemphasize on value of the approaches used to immobilize the vertebralcolumn. Quality assessment in this area should be a constant activityduring the preliminary care of trauma patient while they awaitfurther medical attention.
Ham,W., Schoonhoven, L., Schuurmans, M. J., & Leenen, L. P. (2014).Pressure ulcers from spinal immobilization in trauma patients: asystematic review. Journalof Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, 76(4),1131-1141.
Jacobson,T. M., Tescher, A. N., Miers, A. G., & Downer, L. (2008).Improving practice: efforts to reduce occipital pressureulcers. Journalof nursing care quality, 23(3),283-288.
Kwan,I., Bunn, F., & Roberts, I. G. (2001). Spinal immobilisation fortrauma patients. The Cochrane Library.
Merrifield,D. K. H., & Battle, D. (2007). Hey! I`m strapped to this boardand can`t get up!. Journalof Trauma Nursing, 14(2),67-69.
Wilczweski,P., Grimm, D., Gianakis, A., Gill, B., Sarver, W., & McNett, M.(2012). Risk factors associated with pressure ulcer development incritically ill traumatic spinal cord injury patients. Journalof Trauma Nursing, 19(1),5-10.
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