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Emergency Responders Can Take Steps To Improve Back Health

One profession that has to deal with lower back pain and other types of strain at greater levels than the rest of the population are those in the Emergency Response field.  Whereas some jobs require an individual to lift heavy loads, EMS is unique in that personnel are required to lift people.  An unresponsive patient can actually prove far more hazardous than a heavy box.  With the box, you know the dimensions and you know that it’s not going to attempt to squirm out of your arms.  The same can’t be said for a person.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that persons in this field typically have to see a specialist in order to get back conditions taken care of.  However, the best sort of injury correction is always going to be prevention, and with that in mind, emergency medical personnel may think about putting into action some of the tips included in a new report.

You need to be willing to teach yourself how to pick people up in a way that won’t wreak havoc on your back.  Whether hoisting a person from the floor or a chair, you must focus on bending your legs rather than putting all of their weight on your back.  When lifting, keep your back straight and your eyes (and in turn your head) facing forward.  Lifting in this manner keeps you protected from harm, especially at those times when a person in need actually works against the momentum you’ve developed.  If you lift with your back,  a sudden movement by that individual can cause immense strain that can create lasting damage.

You can also bolster safety in terms of the equipment you’re using to transport patients.  The most important moments are those where you’re placing a patient onto a stretcher.  You should have help in this regard, but no matter how many people are assisting, the same attention to protecting your back needs to be paid.  A team of responders needs to be in sync, something that can only be accomplished through practice.

Lifting must occur on a level plane and at the same time by each responder.  If one medical responder is on either side of a patient, their techniques must be identical to one another.  If one person lifts too soon or too harshly, the other person’s back takes much of the weight, yet another situation that can lead to an injury.  When the patient is being transferred from one stretcher to another surface, responders should stick to one side.  And at no point should a group of people attempt a dead lift with a stretcher from the ground; attention should be paid to using equipment that brings a person off the ground and eases the burden placed on responders.


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