Run Time: 5 minutes
Author: Dylan Luyten M.D.
- Cervical spine immobilization is a big change in the EMS protocol over several years.
- Cervical collars were developed for rehabilitation after neck or spine surgery, but became a tool for prehospital treatment of undifferentiated trauma patients that may or may not have injured the neck.
- There is no real evidence that the cervical collar prevents secondary spinal cord injury.
- The problem is that these patients may not even exist. The forces to injure the cervical spine – transect the bones or tear ligaments – are so great the it is unlikely that the cervical spine was not also injured during the initial trauma.
- Deterioration of a patient with a possible cervical spine injury are likely due to increasing edema and ischemia in the spinal cord.
- The cervical collar does not diminish the force on the neck even with restriction of movement.
Link to Podcast: http://medicalminute.madewithopinion.com/the-cervical-spine/