- The safest and most efficient way to use your body as to prevent injury.
- Lifting and moving
- Reposition before lifting to avoid awkward positions.
- Keep the body stacked and straight. Avoid twists and awkward positions.
- Keep weight as close to the body as possible.
- Never use your back muscles to lift (Use legs, hip, and butt muscles with the abdominal muscles tensed).
- Proper posture: stand and sit with the back straight. The ears, shoulders, and hips are in vertical alignment.
- Kyphosis: slouch. Hunched back.
- Lordosis: swayback. Lumbar deformation causing stomach too anterior and buttocks too posterior.
General Lifting and Moving
- The Power Lift: use of body mechanics. With the back straight, feet apart and abs tensed, lifting is done from the waist down. A firm "power grip" is used.
- The Power Grip: palms and fingers come in complete contact with the object (gripping, not hooking).
- The Squat Lift: same as power lift but with one foot (the weaker foot) slightly forward.
- One-Handed Carrying Technique: Back straight and locked. Do not lean more than necessary to balance. Use below the waist for lifting.
- Reaching: reach no more than 15-20 inches in front of the body.
- Pushing and Pulling: if possible, always push. Back straight, hands between waist and shoulders.
- Characteristics of emergency moves
- No spinal stabilization
- Performed when the scene is not safe, and there is an immediate danger to both the patient and the rescuer.
- The Armpit-Forearm Drag: position behind the patient, reach through and under their armpits, grab their forearms, and then drag.
- The Shirt Drag: fasten the patients' hands or wrists together, and then drag their shirt by the shoulders. Does not work for T-shirts.
- The Blanket Drag: wrap a blanket beneath the patient, and then drag the blanket at the patient's head.
- Characteristics of urgent moves
- Spinal immobilization
- Performed when the scene is safe, but there is an immediate threat to the patient's life. Common in car accidents.
- Rapid Extrication: Getting a patient out of a car onto a backboard while providing constant spinal immobilization.
- Characteristics of nonurgent moves: scene safe, patient stable.
- If possible, and when in doubt, always suspect spinal injury and provide full spinal immobilization onto a backboard before moving. For example, a patient out of a car crash should always be immobilized even if he or she appears well. Use the techniques below only if there is no spinal injury.
- Direct Ground lift: two or more rescuers lifting a patient from the side (the way you would cradle a baby).
- Extremity Lift: two rescuers lifting the patient by the extremities. One rescuer in the armpit-forearm drag position and the other holding the patient behind the knees.
- Direct Carry: similar to the direct ground lift, except that you carry instead of lifting because the patient is not on the ground.
- Draw Sheet: similar to a blanket drag. The rescuers drag sideways the bedsheet beneath the patient so that both the bedsheet and the patient is moved.
- Stretcher: a bed-like device for transportation of patients.
- Wheeled Stretcher: a stretcher with wheels. Commonly seen in the ER, where the patient is pushed around on beds with wheels.
- Portable Stretcher: a light stretcher without wheels.
- Scoop Stretcher: a stretcher that can split apart to scoop up the patient on the ground from either side.
- Basket Stretcher: a stretcher with protective guards around the circumference (like a boat).
- Flexible Stretcher: a stretcher that is flexible and can fold.
- Bariatric Stretcher: a stretcher that can support up to 1600 pounds. For very large patients.
- Stair Chair: a chair with handles to carry a sitting patient.
- Backboard: a hard board used for spinal immobilization. Equipped with hand holds and belts to fasten the patient. Can float in water.
- Full Body Vacuum Mattress: a rigid mattress upon the application of a vacuum. Can provide surface for spinal immobilization.
- KED (Kendrick Extrication Device): a short backboard that provides full spinal immobilization. Can be applied when the patient is in a sitting position.