When 'clean' is not clean enough

December 22, 2011

Some solutions are just no-brainers. Take medical backboards, for example, those hard plastic boards used to stabilize patients during emergencies before the patient is lifted onto the gurney and hurried into the ambulance. After each call, technicians scrub down their equipment to avoid exposing the next patient to diseases, microbes or bodily fluids, but despite these efforts, a study conducted in partnership with the University of Miami examined 55 "cleaned" active-duty backboards and found that every backboard was contaminated with at least 11 different strains of bacteria and microorganisms.

To solve this problem and eliminate cross-contamination, Scott Neusch, a retired firefighter and paramedic from Orlando, FL submitted an idea for a backboard cover to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T). S&T's program for first responders, TechSolutions, works to provide solutions to technology gaps identified by first responders, such as Neusch. S&T's TechSolutions team researched the market to determine the novelty and value to EMS responders for a backboard cover, and conducted a focus group of EMS responders who validated and improved upon the idea.

The result is Board Armor - a synthetic material disposable backboard cover that reduces infection rates in patients and saves valuable emergency response time. It is made of a non-porous medical-grade material that prevents bodily fluids from contaminating the backboard itself and eliminates the need to clean the backboard between each use. Board Armor provides a clean surface for a patient to lie on and reduces turnaround time for Emergency Medical Service providers.

DHS S&T has developed a number of tools to support the first responder community through the TechSolutions program, including Multi-Band Radio Technology, which enables emergency responders to communicate with partner agencies regardless of the radio band on which they operate, as well as the Next Generation Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus that incorporates new pressure vessel technology allowing emergency responders to experience less stress, be able to move more easily in confined spaces and avoid entanglement, and to operate more safely in hazardous response environments.
-end-
To learn more about the TechSolutions program, visit www.FirstResponder.gov.

US Department of Homeland Security - Science and Technology

Related Avoid Articles from Brightsurf:

Why do so many parents avoid talking about race?
BU social psychologists share ways adults can overcome their own assumptions and discomfort to talk honestly about race with children.

Many women suffering from severe migraine might avoid pregnancy, but should they?
A survey of 607 women who suffer from severe migraine found twenty percent of the respondents are currently avoiding pregnancy because of their migraines.

You cannot avoid microplastics
No human being on this earth comes through life without breathing, drinking water and consuming salt.

Swarming robots avoid collisions, traffic jams
Researchers have developed the first decentralized algorithm with a collision-free, deadlock-free guarantee and validated it on a swarm of 100 autonomous robots in the lab.

Avoid paying so people work
Unlike the case in many developed countries, the Russian government is ready to provide financial support to all people who are registered unemployed.

Women with a low desire to avoid pregnancy still use contraception
A new study challenges assumptions that women with the highest preference against pregnancy use more effective contraceptive methods and that women who might welcome pregnancy do not use contraception.

New algorithms train AI to avoid specific bad behaviors
Robots, self-driving cars and other intelligent machines could become better-behaved if machine-learning designers adopt a new framework for building AI with safeguards against specific undesirable outcomes.

Planning to avoid temptations helps in goal pursuit
Proactively planning to manage temptations may be more effective than simply responding to temptation when it arises, University of Wyoming researchers say.

Chicks born with ability to distinguish and avoid different dangers
Chicks are born with the knowledge to flee from predators rather than learning it from experience, according to a study by University of Trento and Queen Mary University of London.

Fathers-to-be should avoid alcohol six months before conception
Aspiring parents should both avoid drinking alcohol prior to conception to protect against congenital heart defects, according to research published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

Read More: Avoid News and Avoid Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.