Aspen Medical Products, inc.

Aspen® Collar

Aspen® Cervical Collars were designed to optimize support and comfort, two key components for better patient outcomes. The structure of the collar was engineered to provide substantial motion restriction without producing painful pressure points that can lead to skin breakdown or poor patient compliance. For the ultimate in comfort, all contact surfaces of the collar are cushioned with cotton-lined, breathable foam padding.

Features

Effective Motion Restriction
The motion restriction provided by the Aspen® Collar has been scientifically evaluated. Utilizing videofluoroscopy, researchers have documented both the translation and angulation of each vertebral segment through the entire range of motion. Results show the Aspen® system to be unsurpassed in its ability to safeguard the patient.

Minimal Skin Breakdown
Aspen® Cervical Collars minimize skin breakdown while providing substantial motion restriction. The structural elements of the collars have been designed to spread support across broad contact surfaces there by eliminating “hot-spots” that can cause decubitus ulcers. Research has proven that skin contact pressures well-below the capillary closing threshold.

Custom Support
Aspen’s unique CushionFlex Tabs™ allow the collar to conform to each patient as it is tightened for a true custom fit. Tightening the Occipital Support Strap™ further customizes the collar by creating an adjustable, three dimensional “shelf” that cradles the back of the head.

Replacement Pads
Aspen® Replacement Pads are all about comfort. Dense, clickable foam offers superior cushioning to other leading collars and is your best defense against skin breakdown. Comfort is further enhanced by hypoallergenic, cotton-lined replacement pads that cushion the interface between the “structure” of the collar and the tender skin surface of patients. This attention to comfort results in better patient compliance.

Frequently Asked Questions

FOR THE PATIENT
How often do Aspen® Collar pads need to be changed?
Pads should be changed or cleaned daily.
How do I clean the pads?
Use a mild soap and water to clean the pads by hand. Pat them dry with a towel and lay out to air dry. Do not use heat to dry the pads.
Where can replacement pads be purchased?
Replacement may be available from the facility you received the collar from, or you may order more through Aspen Customer Service. Call 800-295-2776.
FOR THE PROVIDER
How do I select the correct size?
See the sizing guide for instructions. To ensure a good fit, the chin piece should be flush with the chin. Flex tabs can be cut away to obtain a more customized fit.

Downloads

To download the following PDFs, right-click (option-click on Mac) and select “Save Link As…”
Aspen Upper Spine Brochure ›
Aspen Collar Product Information ›
Aspen Collar Instruction Sheet ›
Aspen and Pediatric Collar Sizing Chart ›
Aspen Collar Sizing Poster ›
Aspen and Vista Collar Patient Handbook ›

Product Info Sheets contain specific product dimensions, product accessories, and catalog numbers.

READ INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE USE. Proper training in the use of this device should take place before it is applied. These directions are guidelines only and are not offered as medical recommendations.

THIS PRODUCT IS INTENDED FOR APPLICATION BY LICENSED HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONERS AS DIRECTED BY A PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED MEDICAL AUTHORITY. PERMANENT INJURY MAY RESULT FROM USE OTHER THAN AS DIRECTED BY A PHYSICIAN OR OTHER MEDICAL AUTHORITY. ASPEN MEDICAL PRODUCTS SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIMS ANY OBLIGATION OR LIABILITY FOR INJURY OR DAMAGE BY REASON OF ANY APPLICATION OF THIS PRODUCT. PLEASE SEE THE ACCOMPANYING LIMITED WARRANTY FOR FURTHER INFORMATION IN THIS REGARD.

Research

Solving the Problem of Pressure Ulcers Resulting from Cervical Collars: A Step-By-Step Approach

Blaylock, B
ET Nursing Department, St. Vincent Medical Center, Toledo, Ohio
Published in Ostomy Wound Management, 1996 May, Vol. 42 (4), 26-33.

Abstract

Cervical Orthotic devices (cervical collars) are integral to the treatment of patients with suspected or confirmed fracture of the cervical spine. Pressure ulcers can develop under the cervical collar on the occipital protuberance and on the chin due to both prolonged immobilization and the collar construction. A multidisciplinary team at a Northwest Ohio trauma center led an investigation of this problem when a one-day study of pressure ulcer prevalence revealed that 4% of nosocomial pressure ulcers, 2% were attributed to cervical collars.

 

Selected Quotations

“… in 1993 an average of 6 cases per quarter were seen.”

(Pg. 27)

“At this trauma center, we had been using a closed cell foam collar for many years.”

(Pg. 28)

“We discovered that another hard cervical collar had been brought into the institution in March 1993, just prior to the development of some of the most severe occipital ulcers.”

(Pg. 28)

“After the educational programs were conducted, … We again concluded/hypothesized that the main contributing factor in the development of pressure ulcers was the type of collar itself, and not the care provided for the patient.”

(Pg. 29)

“The product trial resulted in zero skin breakdown for the 20 patients involved.”

(Pg. 26)

“Repeated CQI studies have demonstrated that the problem of pressure ulcers resulting from cervical collars has been eliminated at this institution.”

(Pg. 32)


 

A Multidisciplinary Approach to Occipital Pressure Ulcers Related to Cervical Collars

Powers, J
Wishard Memorial Hospital, Indianapolis, Indiana
Published in Journal of Nursing Care Quality, 1997 Oct., Vol. 12, No. 1.

Abstract

Pressure ulcers related to cervical collars are a common difficult-to-manage complication of cervical immobilization in the trauma patient. After many cases of occipital pressure ulcers occurred at our institution, a multidisciplinary task force was formed to look at this issue. The group was to identify causes for this problem and develop a plan to decrease the occurrence of pressure ulcers related to cervical immobilization. The problem involved three areas that needed improvement. These were: nursing care, the type of collar used, and the lengthy process of clearing C-spines.

Selected Quotations

“Occipital pressure ulcers are largely preventable and in the early stages are readily responsive to the appropriate therapies.”

(Pg. 47)

“At our institution we noticed an increase in occipital breakdown related to the presence of cervical collars. We observed 19 documented cases of skin breakdown in a one-year period.”

(Pg. 285)

“We began official implementation of the collars [sic. Aspen], in January of 1996. After one year and 76 patients in collars we had only one case of skin breakdown and this was attributed to the patient not being placed in the appropriate sized collar.”

(Pg. 50)

“The cost of treating just one occipital breakdown was calculated to be $4,323.00.”

(Pg. 50)

“The cost of treating just one occipital breakdown was calculated to be $4,323.00.”

(Pgs. 50-52)


 

The Incidence of Skin Breakdown Associated with Use of Cervical Collars

Powers, J; Daniels, D; McGuire, C; Hilbish, C
Clarian Health Partners, Methodist Hospital, Indianapolis, Indiana
Published in J Trauma Nursing. 2006, Vol. 13, No. 4, 198 – 200

Abstract

The most common adverse complication associated with cervical immobilization is skin breakdown. The purpose of this prospective, descriptive study was to assess the incidence of tissue breakdown associated with cervical immobilization. In this convenience sample of 484 patients, skin breakdown was noted in 33 (6.8%) patients. All cases of documented skin breakdown were stage I or II, with only 2% (0.4%) patients having stage III breakdown. Days in cervical collar is a significant predictor of skin breakdown, along with presence of edema. Results from this study demonstrate that there is a very low incidence of complications of skin breakdown associated with the use of Aspen cervical collars. The collars are safe and effective to use in patients with actual or suspected head or spine injuries.

Selected Quotations

“It has been reported that up to 55% of patients in a cervical collar for 5 days or greater develop skin breakdown …”

(Pg. 198)

“Previous studies have reported increased hospital costs ranging from $4,323 to $30,000.”

(Pg. 198)

“Powers (1997) reported a decreased incidence of skin breakdown from 19 ulcers to 0 with improved process of care and a change to Aspen cervical collars …”

(Pg. 198)

“There is a very low incidence of complications of skin breakdown associated with the use of Aspen cervical collars. These collars are safe and effective to use in patients with actual or suspected head or spine injuries.”

(Pg. 200)


 

Biomechanical Analysis of Cervical Orthoses in Flexion  and Extension: A Comparison of Cervical Collars and Cervical Thoracic Orthoses

Gavin, T; Carandang, G; Havey, R; Flanagan, P; Ghanayem, A; Patwardhan, A
Musculosketal Biomechanics Laboratory, Edward Hines Jr., Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital, Maywood, Illinois
Published in J of Rehabilitation Research and Development, 2003 Nov./Dec., Vol. 40, No. 6, 527-538

Abstract

The analysis of current cervical collars (Aspen and Miami J collars) and cervical thoracic orthoses (Aspen 2-post and Aspen 4-post) in reducing cervical intervertebral and gross range of motion in flexion and extension was performed using 20 normal volunteer subjects.

 

Selected Quotations

“It is important that the prescribing physician recognizes the differences between the function of cervical orthoses, so they may make informed decisions as to which orthosis is most appropriate for a specific condition.”

(Pg. 527)

Gross Head Motion Restriction
“Flexion motion allowed in the Miami J collar was significantly greater than that allowed in the Aspen collar. No significant difference was found between the two collars in extension.”

(Pg. 531)

Neck (CO to C7) Motion Restriction
“When measuring angular motion of CO relative to C7 using VF images, we found no statistically significant differences in angular motion allowed between the Miami J and Aspen collars in either flexion or extension.”

(Pg. 531)

Intervertebral Angular Motion Restriction
“No significant differences in flexion were allowed at any intervertebral segment between the Aspen or Miami J collars except at C5-6, where the Miami J allowed more motion.”

(Pg. 532)

“In restricting angular motion in flexion, the CTO’s were significantly better than the collars at C3-4, C5-6 and C6-7 segments.”

(Pg. 532)

Discussion
“The capability of the 4-post CTO to effectively restrict extension motion seems to contradict the current thinking that the halo may be the only effective orthosis for reducing motion in extension.”

(Pg. 536)

Conclusion
“Our findings suggest that either of the two collars could be used to treat similar cervical pathologies or injuries except those involving the C5-6 segment, where the Aspen collar may provide better motion restriction.”

(Pg. 537)


 

Absorption and Transfer Characteristics of Cervical Collar Padding

Technical Report

OVERVIEW: Patients with moist skin are four times more likely to suffer skin breakdown than those who are kep dry.1 Cervical collars with replaceable padding, such as the Aspen® and Miami J®, utilize open cell foam for comfort, and to control perspiration or other fluids at the skin surface. The padding in these two collars differs in the type of foam used2 and lining material adhered to the foam. Since the lining material comes into direct contact with the skin, fluid absorption and transfer characteristics of the pads may significantly impact patient care.

This report evaluates the effectiveness of both Aspen® and Miami J® pads in keeping moisture away from a patient’s skin. The results indicate that Aspe® Collar Pads absorb more readily, and move fluid away from the skin contact surface much more effectively.

MATERIALS & METHODS: The pads tested were obtained from currently available Aspen® and Miami J® Collars. Two small pools of fluid (~.23 cc) were placed on a glass surface. The cotton side of the Aspen® pad, and the smooth nylon side (referred to by the manufacturer as “Sorbatex3) of the Miami J® pad were placed flat, without pressure, over the fluid.

After eight seconds the pads were lifted off of the surface, and turned over so the wetted “skin contact” surface faced up. The fluid remaining on the surface was then observed.

A sheet of tissue paper was placed over both pads for 30 seconds.

Moisture on the skin contact surface was absorbed by the tissue and the wetted area was measured. The test was repeated three times and then averaged.

RESULTS: The Aspen® pad appeared to be more effective in absorption. Significantly more fluid was observed on the glass surface under the Miami J® pad. The area of the tissue that became wet when placed over the Aspen® pad measured 24 (± .5) sq. mm., while the wetted are of the tissue placed over the Miami J® pad measured 860 (±.5) sq. mm. When comparing the wetted ares, the Aspen® pad transferred more fluid away from the surface. The Miami J® pad produced a moist skin contact surface area that was 35 times larger than that produced by the Aspen® pad.

DISCUSSION: Differences in materials used in cervical collar padding may result in significant differences in the ability of the pads to keep patients dry. Synthetic materials have been shown to offer advantages in cooling (i.e-athletic apparel) by dispersing perspiration for increased evaporation when there is substantial airflow.4 When assessing evaporation in cervical collar padding, however, there is no significant airflow, so evaporative cooling is not an important factor. The results of this evaluation show that the Aspen® pads readily absorb and move fluid away from the patient’s skin surface. Miami J® pads proved to be less effective in absorbing fluid and substantially worse in transferring moisture away from the skin contact surface.

CONCLUSIONS: Aspen® Collar Pads, absorbed moisture and transferred it away from the contact surface more effectively than the synthetic-lined padding used in the Miami J® Collar. By minimizing the moist contact area and by transfering fluid away from the skin contact surface, Aspen® Collar Pads keep patients comfortable and may reduce the likelihood of collar related skin breakdown.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT: Experiments were performed and data was collected by Orange County Materials Test Laboratories, Anaheim, California.

REFERENCES
1. Kosiak M: Etiology of decubitus ulcers. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 42:19, 1961.

2. Albero, Marc J., Foamex International Inc., personal correspondence, Feb. 28, 2002.

3. Spingarm, Neil E., Report of Spectrographic Analysis, SN Labs, Santa Ana, CA. Mar. 28, 2002.

4. Dupont Data website: www.dupont.com/coolmax/html/diagrams.html



 

Evaluation of the Cushioning Characteristics of Padding in Cervical Orthoses

Technical Report

OVERVIEW: Clinicians agree that sustained pressure greater than 32 mmHg can cause irreversible skin damage in as little as two hours.1 Manufacturers of cervical orthoses must consider these parameters in their selection of padding materials, since the effectiveness of the padding can influence pressure at the skin surface.

Research sugggests that when properly fitted, both the Miami J® Cervical Collar and the Aspen® Cervical Collar generate a maximum average pressure of less than 25 mmHg.2 While this is below the capillary closing pressure of healthy tissue, not all patients have healthy tissue.

In this report, the cushioning characteristics of the padding material used in the Aspen® Collar and the Miami J® Collar are evaluated. The results demonstrate that at pressures of ~25 mmHg the foam used in the Aspen® pads provides cushioning that is approximately twice as effective as the pads used in the Miami J® Collar.

MATERIALS & METHODS: Replacement pads were obtained from currently available Aspen® and Miami J® Cervical Collars. Analysis showed that the Miami J® pads are manufactured from a “non-clickable” foam with a density of 1.6 lbs. “Non-clickable” foam does not readily spring back after it is die cut, so the edges appear to be sealed. Aspen® pads are manufactured from 1.6 lbs foam that is “clickable.” Clickable foam is desigend to have superior resilency so that edges do spring back and do not stay compressed after it is die cut.3

The thickness of each pad was measured. A 1 Kg weight, fitted with a base plate designed to yield a pressure of ~25 mmHg was pressed into both pads and allowed to rebound. After 60 seconds, with the weight in place, the thickness of each pad was again measured.

RESULTS: The Miami J® pad averaged an initial, uncompressed thickness of .4015 inches and showed an average compressed thickness of .1860 inches after 60 seconds. The Aspen® pad had an average, uncompressed thickness of .4280 inches and rebounded to an average compressed thickness of .3180 after 60 seconds.

DISCUSSION: While the Aspen® padding rebounded to 75% of its original cushioning height, the Miami J® padding rebounded to less than half (46%) of its original height. These differences in performance may explain why using Aspen® Cervical Collars, in conjunction with comprehensive protocols, can significantly reduce the incidence of skin breakdown commonly seen when other cervical collars are used.4,5

CONCLUSIONS: The results of this evaluation demonstrate that there are clear differences in the cushioning ability of the pads used in the Miami J® and Aspen® Collars. The clickable foam used in Aspen® Cervical Collars offers superior cushioning to the non-clickable foam used in Miami J® Collars. The padding material used in Miami J® Collars lost significantly below capillary closing pressure.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT: This report data was generated by Orange County Materials Test Laboratories, Anaheim, California.

REFERENCES
1. Kosiak M: Etiology of decubitus ulcers. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 42:19, 1961.

2. Plaisier, B., Gabram, S.G., Schwartz, R.J., and Jacobs, I.M. “Prospective Evaluation of Craniofacial Pressure in Four Different Cervical Orthoses.”
Journal of Trauma 37
(1994):714-720.

3. Foamex Report

4. Powers, Jan. “A Multidisciplinary Approach to Occipital Pressure Ulcers Related to Cervical Collars.” Journal of Nursing Care Quality 1997;12(1), 46-52.

5. Blaylock, Barbara. “Solving the Problem of Pressure Ulcers Resulting from Cervical Collar: A Step-by-Step Approach” Ostomy Wound Management.
May 1996;42(4):26-33.

 


 

Product Information

Short Aspen Cervical Collar 983108
Regular Aspen Cervical Collar 983110
Tall Aspen Cervical Collar 983112
X-Tall Aspen Cervical Collar 983114
Short Collar Set with Replacement Pads 983128
Regular Collar Set with Replacement Pads 983130
Tall Collar Set with Replacement Pads 983132
X-Tall Collar Set with Replacement Pads 983134
Short Front Panel 983109
Regular Front Panel 983111
Tall Front Panel 983113
X-Tall Front Panel 983115
Small Back Panel 983118
Standard Back Panel 983120
Large Back Panel 983119
Universal Replacement Pads 983159
Small Replacement Pads 983161
Large Replacement Pads 983165

Ordering Information

Please Contact Aspen Medical Products for more information on placing an order.

Phone: 800-295-2776 or 949-681-0200
Fax:
800-848-7455 or 949-681-0300
E-mail:
service@aspenmp.com

Shipping information:
Shipping charges are prepaid and added to the invoice. Next day shipping is available.
All orders are shipped via UPS.

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To download the following PDFs, right-click (option-click on Mac) and select “Save Link As…”
Aspen® Medical Products Order Form ›
Aspen® Medical Products Return Procedure ›
Aspen® Medical Products Credit Application ›