Q&A: Sked Stretcher - Is a Backboard Required?
Can a patient be lowered in a vertical or horizontal Sked without being lashed to a backboard or without a backboard at all?
ROCO TECH PANEL RESPONSE:
The answer is YES! This is one of the advantages of choosing the Sked stretcher.
It can be used with most (if not all) backboards, with a short spine immobilizer, or with nothing at all.
There are two general considerations in deciding what device to use with the Sked or other flexible litters:
(1) Patient Condition - If spinal injuries or other injuries need the splinting effects or the protection of a backboard, then the victim should be lashed to a backboard. When a backboard is not in place, the Sked will help keep the body in line when tightened; however, the spine can continue to be manipulated up and down as patient is moved over objects or edges which can compromise the spine.
If you are just using the backboard to keep the Sked rigid or protect the patient while placing them over edges, then technically you would not need to lash them to the backboard.
When a confined space is too tight to use a backboard and possible spinal injuries are suspected, or additional protection for placing a patient over an edge is wanted, then a short spinal immobilizer such as the OSS can be used. If a spinal injury is not suspected, then no additional equipment needs to be used with the Sked. It is always good to keep in mind, however, that the thin plastic make-up of the Sked will allow the patient to feel every edge or bump you place or drag them over.
(2) Location - What size portal do you need to get the patient and packaging through in order to perform the rescue? Many times in portals less than 18-inches, the individual pieces of equipment will fit into the space, but once put together they will not fit back out of the space. The Sked was designed for this specific circumstance. The thin plastic construction allows it to fit in places many other litters will not.
The Sked can also be used vertically with the bottom not curled and secured in cases where a hare-traction splint or other injury doesn’t allow securement at the bottom.
The Sked is a very user-friendly device that can be used in a multitude of configurations and for various applications. This is one of the reasons why it is such a popular rescue tool, especially for confined space rescue! Stay safe!
NOTICE: The information provided on our website and by our Tech Panel is a complimentary service for our readers. Responses are based on our understanding of the reader’s inquiry, the equipment and/or the technique in question. All rescue systems should be evaluated by a competent person before use in the support of any human loads. Proper training is required prior to use of rescue techniques or systems discussed. Because standards and regulations are typically performance based and often dependent on specific circumstances, it is important to review all regulations in their entirety and to follow the proper protocols for your company or organization.