On-field Hypothermia Saves Everett

Dr Barth Green and his team promote on-field spine support

FootballWhen Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Everett made a heads-down tackle on Sunday's game with Denver, the resulting severe spinal cord injury stunned crowds and has created a media sensation.

Initially thought to have a prognosis of nothing less than quadriplegia, Everett grows stronger and more ambulatory each day. His remarkable recovery is being credited to the swift actions of Bills orthopaedic surgeon, Andrew Cappuccino, MD. He applied a moderate hypothermia treatment to Everett mere minutes after the devastating blow. Dr. Barth Green, president of the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and a SpineUniverse Editorial Board Member, noted that the rapid response by Dr. Cappuccino created a cool environment for Everett's neck and back, cradling the spinal cord from self destruction via bruising and swelling.

Dr. Green notes that Dr. Cappuccino attended a Miami Project seminar where the so-called hypothermia technique was demonstrated. That procedure and other on-field therapies were introduced and Dr. Green hopes they will become standard practice for other teams.

Following surgery to repair his C-3 and C-4 vertebrae, Everett is now awake, moving his legs, ankles, some arm muscles, bending at the hip, and even moving his toes. Everett is asking questions and off a ventilator, taking medication to avoid clot formation, and being fed via a feeding tube. Thanks to the spinal cord-saving technique, Everett appears to be growing stronger each day.

To learn more about the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, visit www.themiamiproject.org

Updated on: 08/11/15
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