We had a patient very similar to THIS not long ago, or I didn’t, depends on your interpretation of the legal nightmare that is HIPAA, but since we’re learning here, I claim the education exemption.
He fell down the granite stairs, as evidenced by the drops of blood as we came up. Why is it folks refuse to stay put when they might actually be injured but are held down by bystanders when nothing is wrong?
Up the narrow stairs we find a man in his 80’s with a head injury and a flail section. Double whammy. In real life we had room to get the board around him and lay him down for the journey. It was not easy and the issue of placing the board uphill or downhill was a quick learning moment for our EMT student ride along.
But when we returned to the firehouse, I wondered aloud what we would have done if we had not been able to fit the board.
Some possible answers included:
- Walking him back to the point of injury with C-collar in place. No, not a good idea.
- Using the stairchair and buckling him in. Could work, and quick.
- KED and carry, not much room there unless we include the stairchair. Could help the flail section as well.
- Load and go, don’t spend time packaging, he needs definitive care.
All certainly good options and faced with a unique presentation we need unique answers.
But let’s not spend too much time in the stairway throwing out suggestions. Find a solution and go with it.
If you said take precautions any way you know how, you made the right call.