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Ann Emerg Med. 1984 Aug;13(8):584-7.

Experimental cervical spine injury model: evaluation of airway management and splinting techniques.

Abstract

We evaluated airway management maneuvers and the effects of cervical splinting on a model of an injured spinal column. X-ray films of a fresh cadaver verified a normal cervical spine. C5-C6 instability was created surgically and documented radiologically with flexion and extension maneuvers. Basic and advanced airway techniques were performed and were documented radiologically. The procedures were then repeated using different types of splinting. Chin lift, jaw thrust, esophageal obturator airway (EOA), and endotracheal intubation can cause extension, widening, and/or anterior subluxation. A two-piece, semirigid soft cervical collar may minimize flexion but not extension of the spine. With the Velcro in back, soft collars minimize flexion; with Velcro in front, they minimize extension. Standard nonsurgical airway management techniques appear to aggravate preexisting injuries. The soft collar and semirigid collar do little to prevent movement, and their presence may serve only as a warning to physicians that a neck injury may be present.

PMID:
6465628
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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