Project: Redesign of Local Trauma Equipment

19 05 2010

Summary: Nearly all of the equipment needed to treat trauma patients in Zambia is imported. This causes multiple problems ranging from high costs to maintenance. There is a critical need for local design and manufacture of trauma equipment that will undoubtedly save countless lives. In this regard, this comprehensive project focuses on first understanding and analyzing the role and function of trauma equipment. The project will then do a needs assessment of these pieces of equipment. Finally, the project will focus on mechanical analysis, design and manufacturing of these pieces of equipment. Currently, we are focusing on simple mechanical devices including spinal precautions, C-spine collars for Cervical Spine protection, simple suction/water seal system for Chest Tube placement and drainage, locally made orthopedic splints and weight systems for setting fractures. All of these pieces of equipment are routinely used but are too costly for the hospital to procure regularly. Additionally, with the unique needs of patients, these pieces need to be available locally with robust designs. Design and manufacture of these pieces of equipment will integrate engineering efforts with a dire medical need in trauma and critical care. The project will involve close collaboration with UNZA school of medicine, departments of orthopaedics, surgery and critical care and the UTH in Lusaka.

Objectives:

A critical needs assessment of trauma equipment.

Design and analysis of mechanical components of trauma equipment.

Local manufacturability to produce robust, cheap and easy to use equipment.

Student Tasks:

To carry out extensive assessment of needs and current status of trauma equipment.

To identify the failures in current trauma equipment and quantitatively analyze the reasons for failure.

To design robust, cheap and easy to use trauma equipment.

To evaluate local manufacturability of these components.


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