The Humble Cervical Collar Gets an Overhaul

Finally, some new gear for people with severe head and neck injuries.

zat9hgt5.jpg

An undergraduate team of three mechanical engineering students and three biomedical engineering students have redesigned the common cervical collar to provide better stabilization for the head and neck of accident victims. The inspiration for the HeadCase cervical collar came from Dr. John Hipp a former director of the Spine Research Laboratory at Baylor College of Medicine.

Dr. Hipp and his colleagues published a paper in 2010 in The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery reporting abnormal separation between vertebrae in cervical collar users. The HeadCase collar aims to prevent this separation by providing a greater degree of immobilization. Where existing collars are wrapped around the neck, the HeadCase provides support to the cheeks, chest and top of the back.

A provisional patent has been filed for the device, which is currently being evaluated using accelerometers to quantify the degree of immobility it provides. The disposable HeadCase won't hit the market for some time yet, however the team expects it to cost less than $15, a typical cost of existing cervical collars of which 15 million are used each year in the U.S. alone.


This post also appears on medGadget, an Atlantic partner site.

Presented by

medGadget is written by a group of MDs and biomedical engineers.

Saving the Bees

Honeybees contribute more than $15 billion to the U.S. economy. A short documentary considers how desperate beekeepers are trying to keep their hives alive.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Health

Just In