Can a rescuer or simulated patient accurately assess motion during cervical spine stabilization practice sessions?
CONTEXT: Health care providers must be prepared to manage all potential spine injuries as if they are unstable. Therefore, most sport teams devote resources to training for sideline cervical spine (C-spine) emergencies. OBJECTIVE: To determine (1) how accurately rescuers and simulated patients can assess motion during C-spine stabilization practice and (2) whether providing performance feedback to rescuers influences their choice of stabilization technique. DESIGN: Crossover study. SETTING: Training studio. PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS: Athletic trainers, athletic therapists, and physiotherapists experienced at managing suspected C-spine injuries. INTERVENTION(S): Twelve lead rescuers (at the patient's head) performed both the head-squeeze and trap-squeeze C-spine stabilization maneuvers during 4 test scenarios: lift-and-slide and log-roll placement on a spine board and confused patient trying to sit up or rotate the head. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Interrater reliability between rescuer and simulated patient quality scores for subjective evaluation of C-spine stabilization during trials (O = best, 10 = worst), correlation between rescuers' quality scores and objective measures of motion with inertial measurement units, and frequency of change in preference for the head-squeeze versus trap-squeeze maneuver. RESULTS: Although the weighted kappa value for interrater reliability was acceptable (0.71-0.74), scores varied by 2 points or more between rescuers and simulated patients for approximately 10% to 15% of trials. Rescuers' scores correlated with objective measures, but variability was large: 38% of trials scored as 0 or 1 by the rescuer involved more than 10 degrees of motion in at least 1 direction. Feedback did not affect the preference for the lift-and-slide placement. For the log-roll placement, 6 of 8 participants who preferred the head squeeze at baseline preferred the trap squeeze after feedback. For the confused patient, 5 of 5 participants initially preferred the head squeeze but preferred the trap squeeze after feedback. CONCLUSIONS: Rescuers and simulated patients could not adequately assess performance during C-spine stabilization maneuvers without objective measures. Providing immediate feedback in this context is a promising tool for changing behavior preferences and improving training. (+info
A novel first aid stretcher for immobilization and transportation of spine injured patients.