Backboard Pad Improves Patient Care

Used warm or cool, Turley backboard pad benefits STEMI, ROSC and trauma patients

When Captain Greg Rauch, EMS Program Manager for the City of Fairfax Fire Department in Virginia, first spotted the Turley backboard pad at an EMS trade show, he was certain it could be a beneficial addition to the department's ambulances.

"It caught my eye as a way to induce hypothermia in cardiac arrest patients who have been resuscitated," he says, noting that it can replace more traditional cold packs and wet sprays as a way to reduce a person's core body temperature. "AHA and current science indicate that inducing hypothermia increases chances of survival."

The Turley backboard pad, available through Bound Tree Medical, is a multi-purpose, flexible gel pad that can be heated or cooled according to patient needs to improve comfort and care. The latex-free pad, is silicone-free and is reusable, repairable and rollable. The 10" x 36" x ½" pad features a non-skid surface and is antimicrobial and antibacterial. The 7-pound pad is also x-ray translucent and will not ooze or leak.

While Rauch's initial mission behind the purchase -- which included two pads for each of the department's four ambulances -- was for cardiac patients, he has found additional uses for the backboard pad. "As we've learned more about it, we've discovered other uses for it," he says. "For one, we use it as a cushion for our backboards. It fills the void between the patient and the backboard to reduce injury, muscle strains, pressure sores and discomfort. We use it warm for this application, and it improves the quality of the immobilization.

"We also use it for splinting injuries," he continues. "Because it's pliable and flexible, we can form-fit it around fractures while applying cold to reduce pain and inflammation."

The Turley backboard pad can also be used to warm trauma patients, and it aids in cooling patients with spinal injuries and those with a return of spontaneous circulation.

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