When securing a patient to a rigid backboard, minimizing the gaps between the straps and the patient will prevent lateral movement, thus providing a safer transportation of the patient. The easiest way to accidentally increase the gap between the strap and the patient is to incorrectly attach the strap to the board. Lark's foot straps will be discussed as they are commonly found in EMS (probably because they are fairly cheap and disposable, unlike 9 foot or Spider straps). Lark's foot straps can be attached to a backboard in one of two ways: up through the hole first or down through the hole first. If the loop of the strap is passed up through the hole in the backboard first, the strap will sit against the far side of the handle and will cause a small, but significant increase in the gap between the patient and strap. Conversely, feeding the loop of the strap downwards through the hole will result in the strap sitting on the inside of the handle; this is what you want to do to reduce the gap between the patient and the straps.

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