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Body Mechanics
The safest and most efficient way to use your body as to prevent

Lifting and moving

o Reposition before lifting to avoid awkward positions.

o Keep the body stacked and straight. Avoid twists and awkward

o Keep weight as close to the body as possible.

o Never use your back muscles to lift (Use legs, hip, and butt
muscles with the abdominal muscles tensed).

Proper posture: stand and sit with the back straight. The ears,
shoulders, and hips are in vertical alignment.

Kyphosis: slouch. Hunched back.

Lordosis: swayback. Lumbar deformation causing stomach too anterior

and buttocks too posterior.

General Lifting and Moving

The Power Lift: use of body mechanics. With the back straight, feet
apart and abs tensed, lifting is done from the waist down. A firm
"power grip" is used.

The Power Grip: palms and fingers come in complete contact with the
object (gripping, not hooking).

The Squat Lift: same as power lift but with one foot (the weaker foot)
slightly forward.

One-Handed Carrying Technique: Back straight and locked. Do not lean

more than necessary to balance. Use below the waist for lifting.

Reaching: reach no more than 15-20 inches in front of the body.

Pushing and Pulling: if possible, always push. Back straight, hands
between waist and shoulders.

Emergency Moves
Characteristics of emergency moves

o Fastest

o No spinal stabilization

o Performed when the scene is not safe, and there is an immediate

danger to both the patient and the rescuer.

The Armpit-Forearm Drag: position behind the patient, reach through

and under their armpits, grab their forearms, and then drag.

The Shirt Drag: fasten the patients' hands or wrists together, and then
drag their shirt by the shoulders. Does not work for T-shirts.

The Blanket Drag: wrap a blanket beneath the patient, and then drag
the blanket at the patient's head.

Urgent Moves
Characteristics of urgent moves

o Fast

o Spinal immobilization

o Performed when the scene is safe, but there is an immediate

threat to the patient's life. Common in car accidents.

Rapid Extrication: Getting a patient out of a car onto a backboard

while providing constant spinal immobilization.

Nonurgent Moves
Characteristics of nonurgent moves: scene safe, patient stable.

If possible, and when in doubt, always suspect spinal injury and

provide full spinal immobilization onto a backboard before moving. For
example, a patient out of a car crash should always be immobilized
even if he or she appears well. Use the techniques below only if there
is no spinal injury.

Direct Ground lift: two or more rescuers lifting a patient from the side
(the way you would cradle a baby).

Extremity Lift: two rescuers lifting the patient by the extremities. One
rescuer in the armpit-forearm drag position and the other holding the
patient behind the knees.

Direct Carry: similar to the direct ground lift, except that you carry
instead of lifting because the patient is not on the ground.

Draw Sheet: similar to a blanket drag. The rescuers drag sideways the
bedsheet beneath the patient so that both the bedsheet and the
patient is moved.

Carrying Devices
Stretcher: a bed-like device for transportation of patients.

o Wheeled Stretcher: a stretcher with wheels. Commonly seen in

the ER, where the patient is pushed around on beds with wheels.

o Portable Stretcher: a light stretcher without wheels.

o Scoop Stretcher: a stretcher that can split apart to scoop up the

patient on the ground from either side.

o Basket Stretcher: a stretcher with protective guards around the

circumference (like a boat).

o Flexible Stretcher: a stretcher that is flexible and can fold.

o Bariatric Stretcher: a stretcher that can support up to 1600

pounds. For very large patients.

Stair Chair: a chair with handles to carry a sitting patient.

Backboard: a hard board used for spinal immobilization. Equipped with

hand holds and belts to fasten the patient. Can float in water.

Full Body Vacuum Mattress: a rigid mattress upon the application of a

vacuum. Can provide surface for spinal immobilization.
KED (Kendrick Extrication Device): a short backboard that provides full
spinal immobilization. Can be applied when the patient is in a sitting

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