Slap-Kord - Shoulder Pad Removal System
Home RipKord Technology Current Protocols About the Developers ER Removal Demo

a demonstration of Emergency Room shoulder pad removal

In recent years, numerous studies have considered the effects of spine motion during the removal of football equipment from an injured player. A recent article, National Athletic Trainers' Association Position Statement: Acute Management of the Cervical Spine–Injured Athlete, (Journal of Athletic Training, May-June, 2009, Swartz, et al), concluded “equipment removal is a very complex and difficult task that can result in potentially dangerous cervical spine motion”. Multiple sources have documented the complexity of removing the helmet and shoulder pads as a unit in order to maintain a neutral cervical spine.

At this time, two primary methods of equipment removal are used: the elevated torso and the levitation technique. The latter technique requires at least six trained medical personnel to place the athlete in a position to properly and safely remove the shoulder pads. During both of the techniques mentioned above, the range of movement through which the player’s head and torso travel can be substantial while the shoulder pads are being removed. With the elevated torso technique, one rescuer must straddle the athlete’s torso and flex at his or her waist to help support and lift the injured player. During this maneuver the athlete is also flexed at the waist in order to elevate the torso so the pads can be dropped under the athlete and before sliding them to the side. The athlete is then lowered back down. This type of lift can be difficult to perform, even under ideal circumstances, but the degree of difficulty is significantly heightened if the injured athlete is on the spine board and the spine board is on a hospital gurney.

With the use of the RipKord system the pads can be removed quickly with very little effort without ever having to lift the athlete, thereby eliminating the risk that comes from moving the head and torso during the process. The RipKord system can be utilized with shoulder pads alone, or with the shoulder pads in combination with a rib belt or lower back pad.

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