A patient who has had head and neck trauma should have a neck collar to immobilize the cervical spine if certain findings are present.


Indications for the placement of a cervical collar:

(1) Glasgow coma score (GCS) < 15 at any time during the clinical assessment (failure to recover full consciousness)

(2) neck pain or tenderness

(3) problems with understanding, speaking, reading or writing

(4) loss of feeling in any part of the body

(5) problems with balance or walking

(6) general weakness

(7) any change in eyesight

(8) paresthesias in the extremities

(9) any suspicion of injury to the cervical spine


The person should wear the collar until imaging studies have confirmed that it can be safely removed.


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