In this retrospective analysis of data from the Maryland Institute of Emergency Medical System State Trauma Registry 1995 to 1998, Cornwall and colleagues found that of 1000 patients with gunshot wounds to the torso, 141 sustained injury to the vertebral column and/or spinal cord. The authors conclude that just 2 patients (0.2%) benefited from spinal immobilization applied in the field. Interestingly, the frequency of torso gunshot wounds decreased during this period by nearly 20%.
Gamelli RL. Thoracolumbar Immobilization for Trauma Patients With Torso Gunshot Wounds—Invited Critique. Arch Surg. 2001;136(3):327. doi:10.1001/archsurg.136.3.327