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Device helps extricate, immobilize crash victims.

Extricating an accident victim from a vehicle, and keeping him or her immobilized, is a procedure that requires care, skill, and speed. It also requires a device that is lightweight, durable, and easy to use. The Hartwell ED-2000 Extrication Device, made by Hartwell Medical of San Marcos, Calif., can be gently slid behind an injured person's back and fastened around the body, holding the spine rigid during removal from the vehicle and transportation to a hospital.

The ED-2000 consists of a molded polypropylene torso support and replaceable straps. The torso support is used in conjunction with a cervical collar that fits around the neck, and a foam-filled neck and head support. The ED-2000 is injection molded, using a low flexural modulus (110,000 psi) polypropylene copolymer, Petrothene PP 8462-HR, from Quantum Chemical Corp.'s USI Division. In addition to its flexibility (even at freezing temperatures), the company says, the material is tough, has a low coefficient of friction, and is unaffected by body fluids and standard cleaning chemicals and disinfectants.

The device is constructed so that there are no areas, such as pockets or corners, where contaminants can accumulate. The solid side flaps, which are directly molded into the unit, can be wrapped around the waist and head. Unlike the slight "give" that is possible with fabric-based devices, the solid flaps ensure complete immobilization.

In order to achieve the longitudinal stiffness required to prevent the body from flexing and creating additional trauma, a box beam, with molded-in ribs, runs almost the full length. A polypropylene plate is ultrasonically welded to the beam, thus creating a 100% seal around its full length and width.

The polypropylene is completely transparent to X-rays and does not interfere with magnetic resonance testing. Thus, the injured person can be examined while still on the extrication device. The yellow pigment used to color the polypropylene resin is nonmetallic based. Quantum, USI Division, 11500 Northlake Dr., P.O. Box 429550, Cincinnati, OH 45249. Circle 172. Or Hartwell Medical, 1857 Diamond St., San Marcos, CA 92069; (800) 633-5900. Circle 173.
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Publication:Plastics Engineering
Date:Oct 1, 1991
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