The Executive Committee of Prehospital Trauma Life Support, comprised of surgeons, emergency physicians, and paramedics, has reviewed the literature and produced the following recommendations on Prehospital Spine Immobilisation for Penetrating Trauma:
- There are no data to support routine spine immobilization in patients with penetrating trauma to the neck or torso.
- There are no data to support routine spine immobilization in patients with isolated penetrating trauma to the cranium.
- Spine immobilization should never be done at the expense of accurate physical examination or identification and correction of life-threatening conditions in patients with penetrating trauma.
- Spinal immobilization may be performed after penetrating injury when a focal neurologic deficit is noted on physical examination although there is little evidence of benefit even in these cases.
Prehospital Spine Immobilization for Penetrating Trauma—Review and Recommendations From the Prehospital Trauma Life Support Executive Committee
Journal of Trauma-Injury Infection & Critical Care September 2011;71(3):763-770