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The use of a long backboard and cervical collar are commonly recommended by international guidelines for spinal immobilization, but both devices may cause several side effects. In a recent study, it was reported that spinal immobilization at 20° eliminated the decrease in pulmonary function secondary to spinal immobilization performed at 0°. Spinal immobilization at 20° is a new recommendation, but other potential effects need to be explored before it can be implemented in clinical use.
Hemodynamic observation is important in the management of trauma patients. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of spinal immobilization at a 20° position instead of 0° on hemodynamic parameters.
This study included 53 healthy volunteers who underwent spinal immobilization in the supine position (00) and in an elevated position (200). Systolic arterial pressure (SAP), diastolic arterial pressure (DAP), mean arterial pressure (MAP), heart rate (HR), left ventricular outflow tract velocity time integral (LVOT-VTI), left ventricular stroke volume (LVSV), cardiac output (CO), inferior vena cava diameter inspiration (IVC diameter insp), IVC diameter expiration (IVC diameter exp), and inferior vena cava collapsibility index (IVC-CI) were measured at the 0th and 30th minutes of spinal immobilization in both positions. The data were compared for demonstrating the efficiency of both positions in spinal immobilization.
A statistically significant difference was found in the parameters of the IVC diameter (exp), IVC diameter (insp), LVOT-VTI, LVSV, and CO through the measurements starting in the 0th minute of the transition from 0° to 20° (P <.001). Delta values (∆) of hemodynamic parameters (∆IVC diameter [exp], ∆IVC diameter [insp], ∆LVOT-VTI, ∆SV, ∆CO, ∆IVC-CI, ∆MAP, ∆SAP, ∆DAP, and ∆HR) were similar in spinal immobilization at 0° and 20°.
The findings obtained from this study illustrate that spinal immobilization at 20° does not cause clinically significant hemodynamic changes in healthy subjects compared to spinal immobilization at 0°.
Immobilization of the cervical spine by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel is a standard procedure. In most EMS, multiple immobilization tools are available.
The aim of this study is the analysis of residual spine motion under different types of cervical spine immobilization.
In this explorative biomechanical study, different immobilization techniques were performed on three healthy subjects. The test subjects’ heads were then passively moved to cause standardized spinal motion. The primary endpoints were the remaining range of motion for flexion, extension, bending, and rotation measured with a wireless human motion detector.
In the case of immobilization of the test person (TP) on a straight (0°) vacuum mattress, the remaining rotation of the cervical spine could be reduced from 7° to 3° by additional headblocks. Also, the remaining flexion and extension were reduced from 14° to 3° and from 15° to 6°, respectively. The subjects’ immobilization was best on a spine board using a headlock system and the Spider Strap belt system (MIH-Medical; Georgsmarienhütte, Germany). However, the remaining cervical spine extension increased from 1° to 9° if a Speedclip belt system was used (Laerdal; Stavanger, Norway). The additional use of a cervical collar was not advantageous in reducing cervical spine movement with a spine board or vacuum mattress.
The remaining movement of the cervical spine is minimal when the patient is immobilized on a spine board with a headlock system and a Spider Strap harness system or on a vacuum mattress with additional headblocks. The remaining movement of the cervical spine could not be reduced by the additional use of a cervical collar.
This chapter discusses the diagnosis, evaluation and management of neck trauma. It presents special considerations with regard to immobilization and the safety of removing the cervical collar for penetrating neck trauma. High-resolution computed tomography angiography (CTA) is the initial diagnostic study of choice in the stable patient with penetrating neck trauma or blunt neck trauma when blunt cerebrovascular injury is suspected. CTA can be the initial diagnostic study of choice regardless of zone of injury. CTA is particularly useful for zone I and III penetrating injuries, which are more difficult to evaluate by physical examination. Unstable patients with penetrating injuries require immediate surgical consultation and exploration in the OR. Unstable patients include those patients with hard signs: clear airway injury (air bubbling through wound), hemodynamic instability despite resuscitation, uncontrolled bleeding (including expanding hematoma), or evolving neurological deficit.
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