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Another piece of moving and handling equipment we use in emergency services, primarily on ambulances, is the scoop stretcher. Like the spine board, it is for moving patients who have potential back injuries or are potentially awkward to move. Two or three things that we need to know about the scoop stretcher is it is adjustable, it lengthens and shortens to match the patient, so we have to measure it correctly. There are one or two different areas on it we need to look at in-depth. One of the areas is the actual gaps which are used for attaching straps to go over the patient to fix the patient to the board. There is a head end and a foot end, so it has to be the correct way around. The foot end is always the narrow end. The wide end is obviously always the head end. We can use head blocks, the same blocks that we would use on a backboard or a spinal board, to take control of the head and neck.

Two or three things also that have to be careful of is how we use it on the ground. Because this is gonna slide underneath the patient, if we are working on a surface where there is glass or where there is anything that may cut or embed itself into the back of the patient, we have to be a little bit careful when we put the scoop underneath. Otherwise, we scoop up the glass and debris onto the scoop under the patient, and the patient then lies on that for the journey, potentially into the hospital or whilst we move them. And if we use them to transfer from this onto a stretcher, or a cot in an ambulance, or onto a spinal board, that debris stays underneath the patient, it can render more injuries that we are not really... Which isn't good for the patient. So, we need to make sure we keep it and use it appropriately and properly. So, to adjust the scoop itself, first of all, there is a clip at the head end, which is literally a push button, and the scoop parts. There is exactly the same at the foot end, push button, and again, the scoop parts.

There are also two clips or two adjusters on the actual side of the scoop. When those are relaxed or released, the scoop itself will stretch in length. And when they are locked, it locks in place. So it needs to be measured correctly. It needs to be placed at either side of the patient. And then when we bring the scoop together, you will notice that these are angled to fit nicely under the back of the patient, and then we bring them together until the locks engage. We need to test that they are locked before we move. If they haven't properly locked, the scoop will open. So please check and test once the clips have gone in that they are fixed. These also need to be cleaned after use. The locks and the adjusters need to be cleaned, so they slide in and out easily, and for ease of operation. We don't want to be mashing about or having them jammed due to being dirty or contaminated after use. The scoop stretcher.

  • IPOSi Unit three LO1.3, 1.4 & 2.2