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July 29, 2002

1 Min Read
Head immobilizer wins award


When emergency medical personnel arrive at the scene of an accident, one of the top priorities is to immobilize patients at risk of spinal cord injury. The SpeedBlocks head immobilization device was designed to meet this need. It's comprised of a universal base that mounts to the backboard and a pair of blocks that snap into the base on both sides of the patient's head. The blocks can be adjusted and are strapped to each other. This design brought a Medical Design Excellence Award at the June MD&M East show in New York City to design firm Machineart Corex and Laerdal Medical Design & Development Group.

The design team had to take into account human factors, mechanical design, material selection, part optimization, mold flow analysis, and an attractive and cleanable form. They wanted to give customers a hybrid system that was reusable but still inexpensive enough to be disposed of when significantly contaminated. A high-density polyethylene from United Plastics Group (Chicopee, MA) was chosen because of its resistance to cleaning solutions. A design was chosen that allows the mounting base to be disinfected and reused, while the patient contact parts (the blocks with straps and base pad) are replaceable at a lower per-use cost than most disposable devices. The entire system costs about a third of the most common reusable head immobilizer.

SpeedBlocks were molded by Promold (Cromwell, CT). The base measures 16 by 8.5 by 1 inches and weighs 8 oz. The head block measures 7.2 by 7.1 by 4 inches and weighs 5.2 oz.

Contact information
Machineart Inc., Hoboken, NJ
(201) 714-9846

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