A cervical collar can be a useful first aid item for workplaces and team trainers, important in spinal first aid. The National Spinal Cord Injury Data Statistical Center estimates that up to 10,000 new spinal cord injuries occur every year and other sources call this figure an understatement of the problem. Motor vehicle accidents account for more than 40% of these, acts of violence 24%, accidental falls more than 22%. Sports are involved in 10%.
A sub-standard cervical collar can actually cause harm to victims.
Cervical Collar comparisons
Several prominent brands produce cervical collars, with advantages and disadvantages to each. Following is a list of brands and some comparisons. Comparisons are taken from a variety of sources, including medical and technical studies, as well as input from patients.
The Miami J, introduced in 1991, is an industry standard. Tested in independent studies, it has the highest ratings for spine immobilization. It also rates highly for inhibiting skin breakdown and for patient comfort. It retails for $76.
The Ambu Perfit ACE The Ambu Perfit is highly rated for comfort and is much more budget conscious, retailing for under $20. It has easy adjustable latches to prevent lateral sway, though it is not as highly rated for immobilization as the Miami J.
The Philadelphia cervical collar is a popular light weight collar featuring a “double hook 'n pile” closure. Philadelphia features a number of different models, some of them very economically priced ($15 or less). However, in an independent comparison to the Miami J, it was concluded that the Philadelphia had “significantly less” spine immobilization.
The Laerdal Stiffneck® Select has been shown to be very limited in fit. In a study that compared it to The Ambu Perfit ACE, the Laerdal was shown to fit less than 50% of survey respondents comfortably.
The Aspen like the Philadelphia, has been criticized for offering “significantly less” movement restriction than the Miami J. It is highly rated for comfort and in the words of the company avoids, “producing painful pressure points.”
Thomas Cervical Collars are not highly rated for movement restriction. No independent data was available to compare it to other cervical collars.