Logrolling Patients with Spinal Precautions

by Andria RN · 1 comment

in ICU,Podcast,Uncategorized


A patient with a cervical injury may have orders to logroll. Please refer to my blog post on Spinal Precautions if you would like more information about spinal injuries. Back to the logroll. Logroll? What are we- lumberjacks? Yep- pretty much. Logrolling maintains spine position when transferring a patient (from bed to stretcher, stretcher to CT scanner, etc.) and when rolling a patient from side to side in order to provide skin care, do a skin assessment, or change bed linens. A patient with logroll orders can NEVER be moved by any means other than a logroll.

To perform a proper logroll you will need at least 3 additional people to help you, and please make sure these people know how to logroll a patient. I volunteered to help transfer a patient one time, not knowing that a logroll was anything special and I basically got called out in front of the group. Needless to say, it was embarrassing. But I got over it eventually. And, the good news was that I did learn how to perform a proper logroll.

The Leader, El Capitan, The Boss, Head Honcho, etc.

One person is “the leader” and will stand at the head of the bed. This person is in charge of coordinating movement as well as maintaining the patient’s head and neck alignment. Two or three other people will roll the patient and one person may insert the slider board or perform skin care or linen change. If necessary, the process will be repeated on the other side.

Here is an example of a proper logroll to transfer from bed to stretcher. See picture below if you need help visualizing this concept. Person A is at the head of the bed and puts a hand on each side of the patient’s head to support cervical alignment. Helper 1 and Helper 2 are standing on the left side of the patient in the Operating Room. Helper 1 places her right hand across the patient’s body at the patient’s shoulder and Helper 1’s left hand goes to the patient’s right thigh area. Helper 2’s right hand crosses over and makes an “X” with Helper 1’s left hand and rests at the patient’s right hip area. Helper 2’s other hand will be somewhere on the patient’s legs. You may need additional help depending upon the patient’s size but the key step is that the Helper’s arms are crossed in the “X” formation.

Thank goodness for you that I have images to show you what I mean! Person A aka “the leader” makes sure everyone is in correct position and then says “on the count of 3! 1-2-3!” or something like this to indicate to everyone on the team that’s it’s time to slowly rotate the patient toward the Helpers. The extra person (missing from OR photo- where’d they go? Out to get coffee?) slips the slider board under the patient. The patient is then lowered down on another count of 3 and the team can pull the slider board over onto the stretcher. Repeat steps to remove slider board and Voila!

  • dayane

    So nice your comments! I am about to get my degree in December this year and prepering myself to the Nclex RN test. Actually, I was reserching the definition of “logrolled” when I got your blog – it’s very nice, and for me helpful. I read the text you left in “About Me” section and this is exactally how I feel. Thanks for charing!

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