Design of a Wearable Cooling Device for Advanced Trauma CarePublic
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Amputations, both partial and complete, are extreme traumatic injuries that can leave patients debilitated for the rest of their lives. Regardless of the type of amputation, tissue preservation is critical to allow for potential reattachment. Cooling of tissue in response to trauma has been known to reduce pain, inflammation and general damage by slowing metabolic processes, however current cooling methods are very rudimentary and typically involve basic ice packs or cold water baths. As such, there is substantial room for improvement. To address this need, this project explored a variety of alternative cooling methods and devices to determine the feasibility of each in regard to safety, cooling capability and several other factors. The limitations of current cooling methods were considered and improved upon. Once the best method was selected, a prototype device was designed and built to accommodate a typical human limb while safely employing the cooling method. The device was then tested extensively to demonstrate the effectiveness of the chosen method of cooling therapy. This project serves as a proof of concept and will form a foundation of future work to expand the device to suit a wide variety of amputation applications in a variety of settings. Due to significant intellectual property associated with the project, the specifics of the device explored and tested will not be disclosed in this abstract.
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