Inflatable neck cushion threat to air passengers
Inflatable neck cushions used by airline passengers could explode or strangle their wearer if the cabin pressure drops, says a BBC report.
Tests conducted on the cushions suggest they could expand to three times their normal size if an airplane suddenly loses cabin pressure.
The expanded cushions can cut off blood supply to the brain, perhaps causing brain damage or even death, said the testers.
The cushion could also explode loudly, causing temporary deafness or possibly damaging the vertebrae in the neck.
The BBC's report was based on ultrasound tests carried out by vascular surgeon Mark Whiteley, who found that the rapid expansion of the cushion can cause "significant flow disturbance" in the carotid arteries, which supply the brain.
"Having seen one or two tests, I think that these cushions are dangerous unless proved otherwise," British aviation safety expert Ian Perry told the BBC.