In the US, there are various designs and brands of cervical collars (neck braces) that are in regular use by EMS/EMT and Paramedics. These cervical collars vary in effectiveness and heavily rely on the training of the individuals placing the collar on the patient. Improper placement of these cervical collars can lead to internal decapitation of the cervical vertebrae in the spine and can lead to permanent paralysis and other life threatening injuries. The majority of spinal injuries and instances of paralysis occur during the transportation of the patient to the hospital. There are several go-to techniques for moving and transporting patients that are suspected to have spinal injuries, but after examining and testing cervical collar effectiveness in relation to the extrication (removal of patient from vehicle) methods that are currently used it has been determined that the cervical collar effectiveness is impeded by current extrication methods. An alternative method and standardization of current extrication methods are presented that require few emergency personnel and have the capabilities of restricting mobility in a way that current techniques cannot.
Ambulance Transport: Current Practice can lead to Further Injury
- by Zach Johnson