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The 'Necksafe' head articulation control system: A novel cervical immobilisation device

Sparke, Alison; Torlei, Karina; Voss, Sarah; Page, Mike; Benger, Jonathan; Matthews, Ed; Hillman, Michael; Hart, Darren; McLaughlin, Ella; Carter, Jane; Harris, Nigel


Alison Sparke

Karina Torlei

Sarah Voss
Professor of Emergency and Critical Care

Mike Page

Jonathan Benger

Ed Matthews

Michael Hillman

Darren Hart

Ella McLaughlin

Jane Carter

Nigel Harris


Introduction: The early application of a semirigid disposable cervical collar following trauma is considered a routine practice. The aim of these devices is to immobilise the cervical spine and minimise the risk of additional neurological damage. However, these collars provide only partial immobilisation, are uncomfortable and are associated with a number of complications. Our team designed and tested a novel cervical immobilisation device that aims to improve immobilisation with reduced complications: the 'Necksafe'. Methods: Human volunteers were recruited and consented to test the novel Necksafe device in comparison with a conventional collar (the AMBU Perfit ACE) in a range of evaluations. These included assessments of the cervical range of movement (CROM) that occurred during scripted movements of the head and neck, and the effect of the new and conventional devices on jugular vein dimensions, assessed using ultrasound scanning. Results: CROM analysis showed that, under standardised testing conditions, the Necksafe device offers cervical immobilisation that is at least equivalent to a conventional collar, and is superior in the planes of extension, lateral flexion and rotation. Ultrasound examination of the jugular veins was inconclusive and did not reveal any differences in jugular venous diameter or flow. Qualitative feedback from ambulance paramedics was highly supportive of the new design, suggesting that it is more comfortable, easier to fit, less confining and better tolerated than a conventional collar, with improved immobilisation effectiveness. Conclusions: The results of quantitative and qualitative testing are highly supportive of the new Necksafe design, with improved cervical immobilisation, comfort and access to the airway.


Sparke, A., Torlei, K., Voss, S., Page, M., Benger, J., Matthews, E., …Harris, N. (2015). The 'Necksafe' head articulation control system: A novel cervical immobilisation device. Emergency Medicine Journal, 32(7), 564-570.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 18, 2014
Online Publication Date Aug 4, 2014
Publication Date Jul 1, 2015
Journal Emergency Medicine Journal
Print ISSN 1472-0205
Electronic ISSN 1472-0213
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 32
Issue 7
Pages 564-570
Keywords necksafe, head articulation, control system, cervical immobilization device
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