Head Immobilizer

Also Known As:

A head immobilizer is a piece of emergency equipment designed to restrict the movement of the head or neck while transporting someone with a possible spinal injury.

These can be mounted on a backboard and are typically made of foam and covered in vinyl. Straps allow for positioning and sizing to suit the situation and victim. In conjunction with a backboard, a head immobilizer can ensure that the spine does not rotate or shift at all when the injured person is being transported to safety or to another site for additional medical treatment.

Lifeguards and other emergency responders should be very familiar with the process of using a head immobilizer. First, disassemble by removing the support pads and loosening straps. Position the head immobilizer at the center of the head end of the backboard. Run straps through the appropriate holes of the backboard and fasten them. If there are no holes, wrap the straps around the backboard itself and clasp. Be sure the head immobilizer is secure before positioning the victim on the backboard. Then position the support pads around the head, securing the forehead or chin strap in place.

Like other safety devices, head immobilizers should be checked frequently for damage. These should be replaced if the surface is cracked or padding is exposed.