How paramedics apply the spinal immobilisation algorithm in trauma patients

Tinker, Claire, Boswell, Graham and Foster, John (2023) How paramedics apply the spinal immobilisation algorithm in trauma patients. Journal of Paramedic Practice, 15 (5). pp. 196-203.

[thumbnail of Tinker_InvestigationIntoHow.pdf]
PDF - Accepted Version
Available under License CC BY-NC

Download (399kB) | Preview
Official URL:


Background: Validated criteria are included in the algorithm used in the UK prehospital setting to safely reduce the number of traumatically injured patients requiring full spinal immobilisation. The criteria improve the sensitivity in selecting patients with spinal injuries but evidence how UK ambulance clinicians apply them is sparse.

Aims: This study aimed to identify the knowledge levels and the use of the spinal immobilisation algorithm by ambulance clinicians.

Methods: A quantitative survey used a convenience sample of all frontline clinicians in London Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

Findings: The algorithm is not routinely used when assessing traumatically injured patients at risk of spinal injury; recognition of the algorithm inclusion criteria is poor, especially regarding patients under the influence of drugs or alcohol. There is a belief that too many patients are immobilised unnecessarily.

Conclusion: Research is required on how ambulance clinicians use checklists and paramedic education on spinal immobilisation rules requires review.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Journal of Paramedic Practice
Publisher: MA Healthcare
ISSN: 2041-9457
Departments: Institute of Health > Centre for Excellence in Paramedic Practice
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 11 May 2023 12:03
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2024 19:14


Downloads per month over past year

Downloads each year

Edit Item