Times they are a changing when it comes to EMS & ambulance backboards. Though there was once a time when wood was the supreme material for getting a patient from their injury location into the ambulance, technology has begin to show is that perhaps it's time to let go of the old and bring in the new. With a modern EMS & ambulance backboard, you're not only getting a safer and more reliable method of patient transportation, but you're also making an investment in long term patient care capacity.
Out With the Old…
The standard of care used to be traditional wood for EMS & ambulance backboards. And while this is still fairly well used in the medical circles, there are obvious disadvantages to still having this on your rig. First of all, wood materials can be broken under certain conditions and in certain applications. If you have a particularly heavy patient, for example, you might not have enough support in the wood and it could break. If the wood should break or weather, you can also have troubles with splinters that can harm a patient when they're already getting medical help. And finally, wooden boards are heavy and very difficult to sterilize. When you're in a setting where the EMS & ambulance backboard can come into contact with germs, this isn't going to be the healthiest situation for anyone – you and the patient included.
However, if you have a wood that's been sealed to be water resistant, you are certainly increasing your chances of having a cleaner board that's also stronger than just regular wood. If you do want to opt for wood, look for Marine plywood that's been tested again and again for safety.
In With the New
The newer EMS & ambulance backboards are being made out of plastic, and for a number of reasons. The plastic material of the EMS & Ambulance backboard is easy to clean and to sterilize, it's lighter, and it's also easy to craft into multiple shapes and configurations. You can also find these in multiple colors for easy identification and use. While it's true that these boards are more expensive, the thought is that they will also last longer, so they might be a wiser investment down the road.
Carrying Patients into the Future
Thankfully, EMS & ambulance backboards are also taking into account the needs of the medical professionals as well as of the patients. By including accessories like straps for the head and body as well as hand cutouts and folding mechanisms for tight spaces. As a medical professional, you are going to be holding onto the full weight of the patient as well as the dead weight that they might be exuding due to a loss of consciousness.
No matter what type of EMS & ambulance backboard you might use or you might purchase, you want to make sure you are comfortable enough to lay on this board yourself. EMS & ambulance backboards are used to transport those in the direst of need, so if you wouldn't use it, why should they feel comfortable?
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