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Securing Onto The Stretcher

The team is securing the patient on the stretcher using five-point fixation and taping the head to protect the cervical spine.
  • You have to protect the patient throughout the journey and prevent injuries.
  • The only safe way of fixing a supine adult who is transported in the direction of travel in the ambulance is by using the five-point fixation as shown in the video. The same applies for staff in the ambulance.
A lap belt restraint tolerates 4G vertical force (head-to-toe), whereas a three or four point restraint increases this to 25G!
  • In the event of a sudden deceleration, such as a crash, the patient’s momentum will keep them moving forwards. This is why the shoulder straps must sit over the shoulders and not at the sides or over a pillow.
  • The patient’s head has to be fixed separately otherwise you risk brisk movements of the head with every turn and sudden change of lanes your ambulance takes. This can harm the patient and also pull out tubes and lines!
Ensure that all equipment is safely fixed and correctly placed it does not become a projectile. You can’t justify any injuries due to flying objects, and remember: you and your colleagues are at risk from all the same forces and objects!
  • Look up the standards and regulations in your country; it is usually very clear how the equipment should be fixed.

Paediatric Perspectives

In this video from the Children’s Acute Transport Service (CATS), you will see how a simulated paediatric patient is secured to the transfer stretcher.

Please note: this video is a simulation and does not depict a real-life clinical event. The clinical details used in the simulation are invented and do not describe real patients. Everyone featured has kindly given their permission for the video to be used.

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A Journey Through Transfer Medicine

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