Tue, Aug 8, 2017
By A.J. Heightman, MPA, EMT P Editor in Chief, JEMS
The new, enhanced version of the SIPQuik (Stabilize in Place) one-size-fits-all vacuum cervical splint, one of the 30 Hot Products selected at the 2017 EMS Today Conference in Salt Lake City, is getting rave reviews by early adopters, and its enhanced version is now available. I had the opportunity recently to meet with Steve Islava, the creator of the SIPQuik Vacuum Cervical Splint to see the latest, enhanced version and try it out. The splint is unique from other collars and splints because one size truly fits all patients. The splint is designed to be placed on the patient in the position they are in to avoid excessive movement of their neck. The enhancements made to the SIPQuik Vacuum Cervical Splint include repositioning of the Velcro to allow for easier application on the supine patient, and the Velcro is now “welded” onto the splint and not simply glued there, so it will absolutely stay in place.
Islava and his company have added a lure-type adapter that allows you to remove the small vacuum pump that rapidly sucks the air out of the splint and molds the tiny little beads together.
The splint now also features a “quick clamp,” similar to what is on IV tubing, directly above the lower adapter. The clamp allows you to quickly snap it in place when you’re removing the vacuum pump. The SIPQuik Vacuum Cervical Splint is priced at just $10 and gently molds around the neck, chin and face of the patient.
Because the splint is being offered at such an inexpensive price, Care2 Innovations has placed their name on the front of it to ensure that there are no imitations of this innovative product.
Putting the SIPQuik Cervical Splint to the Test via Radiology
Having watched the endless debate for decades of rigid collars vs. soft collars vs. no collar in trauma patients, Dr. Robert Hurwitz, a radiologist with HopkinsRead Radiology and Touro University School of Medicine in Las Vegas, NV., decided to study the SIPQuik Vacuum Cervical Splint.
Cervical immobilization has long been considered an essential first step in addressing trauma patients but, for forty years, there’s been controversy over the risk and benefits of a semi-rigid splint. Some studies have even suggested that collars or splints can be omitted as long as patients are immobilized until arrival at an ED or trauma center.
Because radiologists have the final say in diagnosing normal vs. fracture of the cervical spine, Hurwitz and his team undertook the task of reviewing the SIPQuik Vacuum Cervical Splint and other competing collars. To address the neck pressure controversy, his team used state of the art radiology techniques in assessing jugular venous return and spinal curvature with and without various collars and splints.
The first parameter studied was a comparison of jugular venous Doppler flow and diameter of internal jugular with no collar, semi-rigid collar and the SIPQuik cervical splint. This is felt to be a surrogate of unintentional effect on intracranial pressure.
The second parameter studied was any possible distraction of the cervical spine. Unintended straightening of the cervical spine has the potential of displacing an unsuspected cervical fracture. For this parameter, a lateral radiograph was obtained with and without the splint in place.
The results of this initial study showed if the splint was applied correctly, no excessive carotid pressure was caused by the SIPQuik and it doesn’t increase jugular venous distension (a surrogate for possible block of venous return) compared to semi-rigid collars.
Measurements of normal cervical lordosis remained unchanged with the SIPQuik splint, but undesirable straightening of the cervical spine (as a measure of distraction) was seen with the semi-rigid collar. There are several additional studies underway to show that the cervical splint does not exert any excessive pressure on the carotid artery. Dr. Hurwitz and his team are conducting more thorough testing and confirmation by other groups with all available semi-rigid collars. A future peer-reviewed paper will contain all of the methodology used in their study. In addition, Care2 Innovations is going to contract for an independent study through a Texas hospital system’s research division to further validate the comfort and safety of this new vacuum cervical splint.