Shock Doctor Eject: Motorcycle Helmet Removal without Trauma
By Scott M. Bruner
The proper removal of helmets during responses to motorcycle accidents is vital to the safety of patients – and a new product is aiming to aid the process for responders.
The EMT First Responder Eject Helmet Removal System assists EMTs by allowing them to remove a helmet without pressure or traction on the patient's spine.
“The helmet is obviously your best friend during an accident,” said Bill Best, Shock Doctor’s vice president of product development. “Unfortunately, not a lot of riders consider what happens after the impact.”
The system isn’t much larger than a credit card and is simply a small air bladder with attached hose that is inflated using a CO2 pump or a handheld bulb. It is placed carefully between the helmet and the forehead, and as the bladder inflates it helps lift the helmet off the head, reducing the potential danger from the friction involved in manually removing it.
“Removing a helmet without Eject can result in 30 pounds of traction on the spine. This is a way to get the helmet off without pressure or traction, and be able to treat the rider like any other patient,” said Doug Dartsch, Oshkosh’s EMS training specialist.
It is recommended that the Eject Helmet Removal System only be used by EMTs properly trained in spinal immobilization, and that they have adequate practice using the system, before the product is deployed. Training is free and can be accomplished online here.
Shock Doctor also has a standard Eject Removal System that riders can purchase and install in their helmet. Riders are encouraged to place an Eject decal on the helmet to inform EMTs that the device is installed. Every professional rider in the American Motrocyclist Association (AMA), including James Stewart and Chad Reed, are currently racing with the standard Eject unit installed.
Eject has a rollout program under way to support the riding and EMT communities on a nationwide basis. It will be on display at Shock Doctor’s booth at the EMS Today Conference in March. The device is sold through distributors, Bound Tree Medical and Emergency Medical Products, Inc. (EMP). The First Responder unit retails at $89, while the standard Eject Unit is $59.