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Abstract

Purpose: To compare time and movement characteristics of four different brands of football facemask loop straps during a cutting task. Methods: Ten certified athletic trainers, age 24.8 ± 3.4, years of experience 2.4 ± 2.5, cut four different brands of football helmet loop straps (ShockblockerTM, ASI (Athletic Specialty), SchuttTM AG (Armourguard) Elite, and RiddellTM) with an anvil pruner. Task completion time was measured with a time code generator. Helmet movement was measured in the lateral flexion plane using 2-dimensional motion analysis. Results:Measureable but non-significant differences were observed between loop strap types (P < 0.05) for dependent variables (time, range movement, and mean movement). Conclusions: Emergency personnel can effectively cut through various brands of football helmet loop straps using an anvil pruner and do not need brand-specific tools for facemask removal. Similar movement characteristics were observed while cutting all four brands of loop straps. Movement occurring during facemask removal may increase cervical displacement and increase injury severity. Measureable differences in cutting time warrant further investigation.

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