Riley/Pottawatomie EMS paramedics change up an outdated procedure

KSNT – April 23, 2015

riley co fire 4232015

If you live in Riley or Pottawatomie County and you ever have to call an ambulance for help, you’re being treated differently than you would have been a year ago.

Paramedics have found a new procedure than not only works better it’s more comfortable for those needing help.

“You would get a collar on your neck that would be a rigid collar that would keep you from moving your neck, then you’d be secured to a rigid backboard, that would be transferred over to the cot and then you’d stay on that clear into the hospital and sometimes through part of the hospital into radiology and such,” says Alex Protzman, EMS Major of Training and Education.

So, both Pottawatomie and Riley County EMS are changing that process. They’ll continue using the neck brace but once you’re on the gurney they’ll roll the patient over and remove the backboard.

It’s a change in procedure that takes a critical situation, and makes it less uncomfortable and also saves time at the hospital. Paramedics found the backboards were actually hurting those on them prompting doctors to, “Increase undue procedures for that patients realizing that it wasn’t the injury that was causing these pains, it was actually the long spin boards,” says Protzman.

Meaning unneeded pain medication, tests and even longer hospital stays.

So now , when in an ambulance – patients will have one less thing to worry about.

We’re told part of the reason for the change was due to questioning patients about what they were really going through, rather than looking at it from the paramedic’s point of view.

Officials say the reason for the change is a part of the new approach of using evidence based research.​

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