Cervical collar or SAM splint in a pre-hospital wilderness environment – Dr Sean Hudson reviews

For some time there has been a debate about the value of cervical collars in the pre-hospital wilderness environment. A recent article has lent weight to the ‘don’t take collars on expedition’ protagonists.

The recent journal of Wilderness and Environmental Medicine: Vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 166–168 compares a molded SAM splint as a collar with the traditional philadelphia collar.

The SAM splint was simply wrapped and molded around the C spine. and degrees of movement of the C spine were tested in all planes.

They found no significant difference in the ability of the 2 collars at limiting movement of the cervical spine. Podolsky and colleagues, in a prior study, found that the Philadelphia collar is as effective as numerous other collars available for cervical spine immobilization.

None of these devices has the broad range of uses that can be performed by a SAM splint (in addition to limiting movement of the cervical spine) The ability to carry one universal device for so many different medical conditions is one of the advantages of the SAM splint. This study helps to validate the practice of using a SAM splint as a universal splint for environments with limited medical supplies.

For more information on Expedition and Wilderness Medicine visit www.expeditionmedicine.co.uk.

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Sarah Outen – makes it with a little help from EWM!! The first Britian to row in the India Ocean and the first female ever!

Sarah Outen in a breathtaking achievement and with a little help in terms of support and training from Expedition and Wilderness Medicine has successfully become the first Britian and the first woman ever to row across the Indian Ocean and the youngest woman to solo any ocean- massive congratulations to her from us

A very exciting, record-breaking, and ever so slightly crazy sort of challenge. It involved my little boat, the Indian Ocean and lots of chocolate. April Fools Day 2009 I set out from Western Australia in a bid to become the first woman to row solo across this ocean. 124 days later after 4,000 miles, having eaten all my chocolate, faced storms and mid-ocean capzies , I landed in Mauritius. It was raw and elemental – just as adventure should be.

Find out more about Sarah’s epic row at http://www.sarahouten.co.uk or donate online via JustGiving

Landing at the end of the record breaking row

Landing at the end of the record breaking row