There are approximately 16,000 transfers of premature and sick babies each year, according to the UK Neonatal Transport Group. In 2014/15, 44 per cent of neonatal transfers were of babies who were moved to a more specialist unit. Transfers by ambulance services are required when a baby needs complex, long term intensive care because they are very premature or sick. Another 44 per cent of transfers were of babies moved to a less specialist unit when their condition improved. Neonatal transfers using ambulance vehicles have in some cases have resulted in the crash of the ambulance vehicle. The cost to the National Health Service (NHS) in post care is considerable following such injuries or exposure to excessive g-forces in the brain. There are no verifiable published statistics for ambulance accidents or the effect of g-forces on the brain involving neonatal transfers in the UK. A custom designed Impact Reduction Interface System (IRIS) for use on ambulance trolley’s is being developed by Birmingham City University and Evac+Chair International to reduce the acceleration and deceleration forces acting on a neonate in normal ambulance transportation and in the event of a crash at speeds of up to 40MPH (65KPH). This paper demonstrates techniques to reduce the g-forces or injuries that will otherwise occur in neonatal transportation or an ambulance crash.
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