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A traction device, designed to give stable, uniform traction while a patient is being transported in an ambulance or airplane, has been successfully used by the Air Force for the past four years.
The device was developed out of a need to produce a steady force which would not be affected by motion when transferring patients with cervical spinal and other fractures of the back, neck, and extremities.
Several years ago, Lt Col Joseph M. Collins, USAF, MSC, observed that patients being transported while in weight traction experienced painful and frequent jolts of up to 2 1/2 times. the amount of traction prescribed.
This led Collins to develop a reel-type traction device which maintains traction in the spinal axis during movement of the patient. In addition to reducing the risk of aggravating the patient's condition, his invention eliminated the hazard of swinging weights in the aircraft.
The Collins traction device
Traction Device Eases Pain of Travel. JAMA. 1964;187(2):30. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060150110056