Image: A new stretcher interface device could save the lives of neonates during transit by ambulance (Photo courtesy of Birmingham City University).
A stretcher interface device (SID) for newborn babies will help to isolate them from sudden ambulance accelerations and decelerations and in the event of a crash.
Under development by Birmingham City University (United Kingdom) and Evac+Chair International (Birmingham, United Kingdom) the SID was designed to withstand collisions at speeds of up to 65 km/h. In addition, it will include a quick attach and release mechanism for engagement and disengagement from oxygen, power, and other survival instruments in the event of a road traffic incident, allowing newborns to be transferred quickly to another ambulance.
The SID and neonatal equipment will be securely attached to European Ambulance Loading Stretchers (EALS) and similar stretchers in other markets worldwide, complementing the existing range of goods and services offered by Evac+Chair International under the ParAid brand. ParAid already includes an award-winning ambulance child restraint (ACR) consisting of a flexible and fully adjustable harnessing system for the safe and effective transport of infants and children.
“The major challenge in this project will be the development of a stretcher interface device with impact-resistant fixing points and ports for oxygen, power, and other survival supplies situated around what encapsulates the newborn,” said Panch Suntharalingam, PhD, of Birmingham City University. “In order for the product to be desirable, it needs to be compatible with any European ambulance trolley, so this adds an additional complication, as the variation in emergency vehicles and their components differs across the continent.”
“Working with Birmingham City University will enable us to develop world-class innovative safety conscious products to complement our existing range of specialist patient and casualty handling equipment,” said Ges Wallace, managing director of Evac+Chair International.
In the USA there were an average of 1,500 crashes annually between 1992 and 2011, resulting in 2,600 incapacitated in the aftermath; 29% of the deaths caused in these incidents were passengers.
Birmingham City University