Without evidence of benefit, an intervention should not be presumed to be beneficial or safe.

- Rogue Medic

Mounting Evidence Against the Long Spine Board in EMS – A Must Watch Video


Dr. Ryan Jacobsen explains that I have been using the wrong terminology for this piece of equipment. This is a picture of my padded spine board.

In this excellent video, he describes why and explains the problems with the use of backboards and the absence of any valid evidence to justify the use of backboards for transport.


The video is one hour and twenty-two minutes, so get comfortable, get some caffeine, and get ready to smile and learn.

And share this video.

There are currently only 188 views of the video. There need to be hundreds of thousands.

If you teach EMS, play this for your students, or just give them the link.


What is the basis for the backboard?

Let’s blame the people who touched the patient first, because EMS will go along with that.

Mounting Evidence Against the Long Spine Board in EMS
Ryan C. Jacobsen, MD, EMT-P
Johnson County EMS System Medical Director
Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine
Truman Medical Center/Children’s Mercy Hospital and Clinics
YouTube page

Thank you to Bill Toon, PhD for the link, for obtaining permission from Dr. Jacobsen to share this, and thank you to Dr. Jacobsen for making the video.



  1. Good video,thanks for posting it. I watched the entire thing the other evening and right after got called to a MVC I thought about it and the implications quite a bit after.

  2. Great video!

    I forwarded it to the NJ OEMS Education Department – enthusiastically received apparently. Change in EMS being what it is, it will probably be a few years before adoption…but at least we are moving forward!

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