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Proceedings Paper

Development of a lightweight portable ventilator for far-forward battlefield combat casualty support
Author(s): Protagoras N. Cutchis; Dexter G. Smith; Harvey W. Ko; William P. Wiesmann; L. Alex Pranger
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Paper Abstract

Immediate medical provision substantially reduces the number of fatalities sustained during military operations. However, the shift from large-scale regional conflicts to smaller peacekeeping and humanitarian missions has reduced the military medical support infrastructure. Civilian emergency medical services have long emphasized the 'golden hour' during which a patient must receive definitive medical attention. Without on-scene medical support, injured soldiers must be transported significant distances before receiving advanced medical care, and rapid transport to a medical facility is not always a viable option. Technological solutions enable military medics to deliver advanced medical care on the battlefield. We report here on the development of a small lightweight portable respirator for the treatment of far- forward battlefield casualties. The Far Forward Life Support System (FFLSS) utilizes a combination of COTS (commercial off the shelf) components and custom designed systems to provide ventilatory support to injured combatants. It also incorporates a small IV fluid pump and IV fluids for resuscitation. A microcompressor control system monitors both system performance and patient parameters for system control. Telemetry to a pager-like device worn by the front line medic alerts of any anomalies in ventilator or patient parameters, which will add greatly to triage decisions and resource management. Novel elements of the FLSS design include oxygen generation, low-pressure air generation, available patient suction, and the absence of any high pressure air cylinders. A prototype developed for animal testing will be described in detail as well as further design requirements for the human rated prototype.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 July 1999
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3712, Battlefield Biomedical Technologies, (13 July 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.353022
Show Author Affiliations
Protagoras N. Cutchis, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Dexter G. Smith, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Harvey W. Ko, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
William P. Wiesmann, BioSTAR, Inc. (United States)
L. Alex Pranger, BioSTAR, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3712:
Battlefield Biomedical Technologies
Homer H. Pien, Editor(s)

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