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Students focus on creating a better cervical collar
Date:4/9/2012

immobilization. Also, you're immobilizing with contacts in places that won't hurt the patient."

The disposable HeadCase is expected to cost less than the $15 price tag on current disposable collars, of which 15 million are used in the United States each year, the students said. "Mass production will drive down the cost," said team member Oviea Akpotaire.

The HeadCase stores flat for easy transport and can be placed on a patient in 60 seconds, team members said.

Inspiration for the device came from John Hipp, former director of the Spine Research Laboratory at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) in Houston, who has long sought a replacement for standard cervical collars. A team led by Hipp published a study in the Journal of Trauma in 2010 showing abnormal separation between vertebrae due to cervical collars.

"Our interest in cervical stabilization began with the realization that the collars themselves may do more harm than good," Hipp said. "The BCM research team then confirmed through multiple experiments that conventional collars not only do not protect an injured cervical spine, but have clear potential to exacerbate cervical spine injuries. The Rice design team has arrived at what is likely to be a viable solution to the problem. Their design has the potential to save the lives of many people following severe blunt trauma."

He approached Maria Oden, a professor in the practice of engineering education and director of Rice's Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen, about offering this challenge to engineering students, who are required to complete a senior capstone design project.

"This challenge was very interesting for our mechanical engineering and bioengineering students because they could see that a successful design, which would require creativity and excellent engineering, could make a huge difference in trauma victim care and potentially save these patients from additional injuries," Oden said. "And the
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Contact: David Ruth
david@rice.edu
713-348-6327
Rice University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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