Effect of cervical hard collar on intracranial pressure after head injury

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102 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Patients suffering head trauma are at high risk of having a concomitant cervical spine injury. A rigid cervical collar is usually applied to each patient until spinal stability is confirmed. Hard collars potentially cause venous outflow obstruction and are a nociceptive stimulus, which might elevate intracranial pressure (ICP). This study tested the hypothesis that application of a hard collar is associated with an increase in ICP. Methods: A prospective series of 10 head-injured patients with a postresuscitation Glasgow coma scale score of nine or less had ICP measurements before and after cervical hard collar application. Results: Nine out of 10 patients had a rise in ICP following application of the collar. The difference in pre- and postapplication ICP was statistically significant (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Early assessment of the cervical spine in head-injured patients is recommended to minimize the risk of intracranial hypertension related to prolonged cervical spine immobilization with a hard collar.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-391
Number of pages3
JournalANZ Journal of Surgery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


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