Wideblue to develop novel transfer device
Product designer Wideblue is collaborating with a team led by SME Science to Business and funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) to develop a novel transfer device
The team, which also includes East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA), is in the advanced stages of preparing the device for market release and are in the process of obtaining regulatory clearances to launch the product.
There are salient unresolved issues with the current practice of transferring patients from the scene of an accident through their pre- and in-hospital journey.
Russell Overend, Director of Wideblue, explained: “The impetus for this development came from emergency medics at the EAAA who were keen to find a solution to prevent trauma patients having to be moved multiple times for transfers between stretchers, trolleys and beds which risks the potential of further injury.”
Product includes heating element to reduce risk to patients
Another problem with standard manual handling devices such as spine boards and scoop stretchers used in an accident situation is that they are often cold and hard surfaces leading to additional risks of the patient losing body heat.
Jeremy Mauger, Pre-hospital Consultant at EAAA, confirmed: “We have experienced many patients exhibiting loss of body heat in trauma situations. Patients can also lose further body heat when being transferred from the scoop stretcher to other ambulance trolleys and hospital beds. Unfortunately, hypothermia is common in trauma victims and can reduce chances of survival.”
Therefore, the product being developed has a heating element, powered by a rechargeable battery, which warms the torso and shoulder area. This product is designed to aid patient transfer, provide warmth and stay with the patient during all pre- and in-hospital transfers.
An additional feature of the transfer device is that it is padded. This provides a comfortable surface and reduces the risk of pressure sore development when the patient is on the device for a prolonged period of time. Furthermore, it is light weight and foldable to fit into an ambulance, air ambulance or first-responder’s vehicle. A clean single-use plastic cover is used for each patient which facilitates transfer using the device and prevents any cross infection between patients.