Effects of spinal immobilization at a 20° angle on cerebral oxygen saturations measured by INVOS™

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Background and aim of the study:

In this study, we aimed to investigate whether performing the immobilization at 20° instead of 0° changes cerebral oxygenation.

Materials and methods:

33 volunteers were put in a hard cervical collar and backboard at 0° and immobilized for 30 min. The cerebral oxygen saturations of the volunteers were measured at 1, 5, and 30 min after the start of the procedure (Group 1). The volunteers were asked to return the day after the Group 1 procedure but at the same time. Serial cerebral oxygen saturations were obtained at the same time intervals as in Group 1, but for Group 2, the backboard was set to 20°.


When the cerebral oxygen saturations of the two groups were compared, there was a slight decrease when the backboard position was changed from 0° to 20°, but it was not statistically significant (P = 0.220 and P = 0.768, respectively). The results revealed that immobilizing the patients with a spinal backboard at 20° instead of 0° did not alter the cerebral oxygen saturations.


Our study results revealed that spinal immobilization at 20°, which was a new suggestion for spinal immobilization following a report that this position reduced the decrease in pulmonary function secondary to spinal immobilization, did not alter the cerebral oxygenation, so this suggestion is safe at least from the standpoint of cerebral oxygenation.

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