Article Text

PHYSICAL STRESSORS DURING NEONATAL TRANSPORT: HELICOPTER COMPARED TO GROUND AMBULANCE
  1. J C Bouchut1,
  2. X Falourd2,
  3. E Van Lancker2,
  4. V Chritin2
  1. 1PICU and SAMU, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon, France
  2. 2IAV Engineering, Tannay, Switzerland

Abstract

Objective Global whole-body neonate exposure to ambulance and helicopter transport dynamics assessment.

Method By mean of a dedicated, embarkable instrumentation, extensive recording of “all” dynamic transport parameters, in a maximum number of typical neonates’ transports, in one high-activity specialized service. By post-processing of the full real-time, full range raw signal acquired data, extraction of a minimal, independent and robust set of transport dynamic harshness descriptors.

Results Based-on fifteen neonate transports by ambulance, totalizing twelve hours fully data acquisition, and five helicopter transports, totalizing two hours data acquisition, identification and comparative characterization of five dynamic whole-body exposure indicators built on the original a priori basis of twenty-seven monitored data : rate of turn (yaw, deg/sec., 0–30 Hz dynamic range), ascent/descent (pitch, deg., 0–30 Hz), rate of horizontal speed (vehicle acceleration and deceleration, m.s-2, 0–30 Hz), vibrations (m.s-2, 1 Hz–20 kHz), noise (dBA, 20 Hz–20 kHz). The indicator’s distributions reliably demonstrate incubator whole-body dynamic exposure of higher, but much more stable range in helicopter transports (EC 135, Eurocopter) compared to ambulance (Renault Master van 2004 model).

Conclusions This study raises major concerns about the large exposure of the sick neonate to physical stressors during transportation. Further processing of a synchronized real-time physiological data expects to open to a better understanding of the pathophysiological impact of the transport in newborn infants and to determine the impact of difference observed between ambulance and helicopter.

This work was supported by a grant of Foundation APICIL.

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