backboard and stretcher straps have become very popular. There are a few
different types, each with certain advantages, disadvantages, and most
They use new coated webbings, extruded through a polymer
coating machine that fully encapsulates the strap. The best in breed use
radio frequency welding (sometime called RF heat-sealing) to secure the strap
ends. In that way, blood and body fluids cannot enter the sewn parts. There are
no holes, no seams, and no frayed ends to absorb fluid. You just rinse, decon,
rinse & dry.
A few of these are available from Morrison Medical, Bioplastics, Iron Duck, and others. I really like the
Morrison PathoShield Straps for backboard use. They work very smoothly in
the automotive seat-belt type buckles. They are simple and fast to use, and no
more expensive than nylon straps that are impossible to clean. They are even
available in a Speed Clip version.
I prefer the Bioplastics Bio-Safe 4-Point Harness
for a replacement cot restraint. They use a webbing coated with
polyether urethane. Urethane is very tough, and very strong. The problem with these straps is
they do not work as smoothly in the metal buckles. But I don’t mind trading off a
little slower operation to get the safety of a proper harness system on the cot.
Either choice offers EMS Providers a way to more
easily and safely keep their patient care equipment clean. Perhaps the most
easily contaminated item in constant use on an ambulance, are the stretcher
straps followed closely by backboard straps. If you replace your current straps
with these as they get lost or cut, you can make the transition at virtually no