The Characterization and Evaluation of an Intervention to Reduce Neonate Whole Body Vibration Exposures During Ambulance Transport
Newborn infants delivered in a compromised health state often require transport between secondary and primary care hospitals. The objective of this study was to measure and characterize the WBV exposures during simulated newborn infant inter-hospital ground transport and determine how vehicle-based vibration is transmitted through the chain of equipment used to support newborn infants and whether there is a need and potential for mitigation of these exposures. A simulated newborn infant was transported over a 46-min, 32 km route between two hospitals to simulate a typical transport route. The route was completed with a standard transport system as well as a new, modified vibration dampening transport system. The average-weighted vibrations and the vibration dose values were calculated. Relative to the floor measured vibration (0.36 m/s2), the standard transport system amplified the average weighted vibration through the chain of equipment nearly doubling the vibration at the interface where the simulated neonate rested (0.67 m/s2). With the new system, the vibration at the point just above the suspension system was almost half (0.25 m/s2) of the floor measured vibration (0.44 m/s2), but then increased to a maximum of 0.48 m/s2 at the interface where the simulated neonate rested. Results were similar for VDV exposures. When comparing the two systems, the standard stretcher amplified the floor measured vibration by 86% whereas the new stretcher system with the built-in suspension amplified the vibration by just 9%. Options for further investigation and mitigation of vibration in future studies is discussed.
KeywordsAction limit Exposure limit Average-weighted vibration VDV
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