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Ann Emerg Med. 1994 Feb;23(2):208-11.

Neutral cervical spine positioning in children.

Author information

1
Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan.

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVES:

To determine the height of back elevation required to place the cervical spine of children less than 8 years old in neutral position and whether agreement on the height required for neutral position could be reached by two independent observers.

STUDY DESIGN:

Prospective.

SETTING:

Pediatric emergency department and outpatient clinics.

TYPE OF PARTICIPANTS:

Convenience sample of children less than 8 years old.

INTERVENTIONS:

Independent placement of children in neutral position by two observers using standard sized padding with or without shims to raise the back off a backboard.

MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS:

All children required elevation of the back for correct neutral position (mean height, 25.4 +/- 6.7 mm; range, 5 to 41 mm). Children less than 4 years old required more elevation than those > or = 4 years old (27 +/- 7.2 vs 22 +/- 4.2 mm, P < .05). Independent observer measurements were similar (mean, 25 +/- 8.0 vs 25.7 +/- 6.8 mm; interobserver kappa = .56).

CONCLUSION:

Children less than 8 years old require back elevation to achieve neutral position while lying supine on a backboard. Also, independent observers can agree on what constitutes neutral position in most children.

PMID:
8304600
DOI:
10.1016/s0196-0644(94)70032-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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