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Automated Inflatable Repositioning Device for Use in the Developmentally Supportive Care of Premature Neonates

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Item Summary

Title:Automated Inflatable Repositioning Device for Use in the Developmentally Supportive Care of Premature Neonates
Authors:Hennigan, Kalie
Date Issued:May 2016
Publisher:[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2016]
Abstract:Due to advances in the field of medicine, infants born prematurely now have greater chances of
survival despite not being carried to Full Term. However, serious health complications exist due to premature birth. Therefore, premature neonates require a specialized form of individualized care. Developmentally supportive care stresses the importance of proper handling, positioning and regular repositioning of the patient. In Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) there does not exist a standardized form of care in regards to the proper positioning of these patients. Currently, healthcare providers use rolled blankets, towels or foam positioning barriers and pillows to position and reposition the neonate. However, these forms of handling the neonate require some form of manual intervention which can cause undue stress and harm to the infant’s already fragile and compromised condition. As a result, there exists a need for a novel automated repositioning device that can safely and effectively position the neonate in a slow and controlled manner to ensure that they reach proper developmental milestones while at the same time preventing any further medical complications.

In this study, an automated repositioning device was created. This system employs the use of
inflatables to serve as air cells in order to achieve the safe positioning of these patients. The system is comprised of two pumps, four valves and four inflatable air cells that safely and slowly direct the air flow into the desired air cells by means of an Arduino Uno and a multi-directional control switch in order to obtain safe and proper positioning. The four air cells that comprise this system position the patient in either a Fowler’s, Trendelenburg, Left or Right position.

Testing was conducted on this automated inflatable repositioning system using a manikin that was
similar to the size of a full term infant. Range of motion testing was conducted and it was discovered that this system is successful in achieving a sufficient range of motion in order to safely position the manikin. A pressure sensor was also connected to the system to measure the amount of pressure in the air cells over time during inflation. From this testing, it was found that the system is successful in inflating the air cells in a slow and controlled manner. Additionally, four NICU nurses from the Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women and Children tested the device and a survey was conducted to obtain feedback about the performance of the system. Overall the device created was found to be successful in achieving positions in four directions in a safe, slow and controlled manner by means of an easy to use system that has the potential to be integrated into current neonatal health care technology.
Description:M.S. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2016.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections: M.S. - Mechanical Engineering

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