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Proceedings Paper

Physiologic monitoring in extreme environments: application of microsensors and embedded processors to predict heat stress in fire fighters
Author(s): Carin Van Gelder; L. Alex Pranger; Adrian R. Urias; Ronalee Lo; William P. Wiesmann; Robert J. Winchell; Margaret A. Kolka; Nina Stachenfeld; Sandy Bogucki
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Paper Abstract

Interior structural firefighting involves heavy physical exertion under extreme environmental conditions. Personal protective clothing and equipment impose 50 lbs of weight on fire fighters and impede the evaporative cooling mechanisms normally responsible for thermoregulation during exercise. The intense heat of the fire ground further exacerbates the physiological stress on working fire fighters. Occupational morbidity and mortality statistics reflect the impact of such stressors on fire service personnel. Non-invasive physiological monitoring capabilities are needed to more precisely define the cardiovascular responses to the demands of fire fighting and identify markers of impending failure of compensatory mechanisms prior to collapse or onset of irreversible pathology. A suite of sensors designed to provide continuous remote monitoring of fire fighters has been developed. Oximetry sensors are incorporated into SCBA facemask to allow unencumbered monitoring and analysis of cardiovascular and pulmonary function. The present report also describes a model system for physiological studies of fire fighting. This system comprises a series of timed simulations of fire ground tasks performed by fire fighters in a heated environmental chamber. Preliminary testing confirms the feasibility of reliable oximetry signal acquisition under fire ground conditions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 May 2002
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 4615, Biomedical Diagnostic, Guidance, and Surgical-Assist Systems IV, (13 May 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.466648
Show Author Affiliations
Carin Van Gelder, Yale Univ. (United States)
L. Alex Pranger, BioSTAR, Inc. (United States)
Adrian R. Urias, BioSTAR, Inc. (United States)
Ronalee Lo, BioSTAR, Inc. (United States)
William P. Wiesmann, BioSTAR, Inc. (United States)
Robert J. Winchell, Maine Medical Ctr. (United States)
Margaret A. Kolka, U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (United States)
Nina Stachenfeld, Yale Univ. (United States)
Sandy Bogucki, Yale Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4615:
Biomedical Diagnostic, Guidance, and Surgical-Assist Systems IV
Tuan Vo-Dinh; David A. Benaron; Warren S. Grundfest, Editor(s)

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