quick exposure with trauma shears: cut & tear

19 May

something I learned by trial & error and watching others along the way, but nicely addressed in this EMT Spot blog post:


cut at the edges (hemmed areas like the cuffs, collar, waist, etc)

tear with your hands (most fabrics will tear along that line fairly well)


quicker than cutting down each entire sleeve/pant leg

– less likely to cut through cords/leads/IVs, since there’s less cutting




– to remove shoes, cut the laces, and/or cut down the sides

be careful when cutting near pockets (a cloud of white powder in the resus bay complicates things)

cut around penetrating trauma holes in clothing (may be useful evidence)

– if pt moveable (e.g. not immobilized), cut midline at collar in front and back, then pull from the sides.



– once you’re done with the assessment, cover ’em back up 


There you go.


References: EMT spot blog + pictures


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