Sunday, April 10, 2011

Neck Braces, Rigid Collars, Cervical Orthoses - A Guide on Bracing The C-Spine - Part 3

Take Home Points For Medical Professionals Regarding Cervical Collars

Loosening a collar for a patient is not always the right action to take. The brace, no matter if it is a neck brace or any other type of orthosis, needs to be placed on the patient in a snug fashion. Unless the brace is somehow made wrong for the patient, a snug fit should not be a problem. Sometimes patients will turn to a medical professional or family member and ask for the brace to be loosened. This is all done without a bad intent and a gaurdian is happy to help the patient with this request. However, many times what this does is allow the brace to become more mobile. Then, can easily happen is the brace "migrates". As a result, the patient will have more problems with the brace in most cases. We all want the patient to be happy, but making a brace too loose can be a serious mistake. - Not only will the cervical collar be able to migrate, but it may also lose the support that it provides to the patient.

A Note on Skin Precautions & Cervical Bracing.

As a medical professional, it is important to monitor the fit of the brace for the patient, especially if you are in a setting where your patients are not entirely alert. You do not have to be an expert in the field of orthotics to notice some important things for the patient when it comes to bracing. For example, the patient's skin will tell you how the patient is feeling. If the patient can not consciously communicate with you in a verbal manner, then let their skin do the talking. If it is irritated, you will be able to know by looking at it.

When a patient is not entirely alert, like in an ICU situation, or they are heavily sedated, then this is when the skin irriation issues can come into play. Sometimes a patient will be in a position, in bed, that causes more problems with a brace and the patient does not even know it. That is where a health professional has to be aware and call the providing orthotist (brace specialist) when necessary.

Note: This is health information. Medical advice on bracing should be provided from your local, licensed orthotist. This is good information on bracing, but we say this because each bracing scenario is slightly different and we can not be held liable for each unique case.

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