UI professor Salam Rahmatalla studied how the vibrations felt by patients on their way to the hospital can make their injuries or pain worse.
Patients who have suffered a traumatic injury can sometimes see their pain or the extent of their injuries made worse by the whole-body vibrations they feel when being transported in a vehicle to medical care, as cited by one study. recently published by Professor Salam Rahmatalla of the University of Iowa. .
After 15 years of research, Rahmatalla published a book, Prehospital transport and whole body vibration, which details his finding that some medical patients, especially those coming from war zones, may experience more pain or discomfort when transported for medical help than they initially felt. His research focused on the side effects experienced by patients due to pre-hospital emergency transport.
Rahmatalla, professor of structural mechanics and biomechanics at the College of Engineering, used the book to summarize his research over the past 15 years. The book highlights measurements, laboratory experiments, field studies, levels of discomfort and the biomechanics of people subjected to whole-body vibration.
Rahmatalla said his work focuses on both warzone patients and regular patients. When working with the U.S. military, he said 27 healthy people were involved in his research projects.
“Millions of injured patients are transported each year in accidents, war zones and natural disasters from the point of injury by land, air or sea, where whole body vibrations exist,” he said. he declares. “These types of vibratory movements can cause discomfort, pain, and worsening injuries.”
Ground ambulances – road vehicles – were used, he said, to simulate different terrains of war zones. The military used different types of emergency vehicles such as a Humvee, he said.
“When doctors take people who are injured to the point of injury, they are usually in serious condition, such as spinal cord or head injuries, as the medical team tries to stabilize them by putting them on a stretcher, Tying them up and using a neck collar or splinter, ”said Rahmatalla.
Rahmatalla said that during this process there is a lot of vibration. Doctors told him that patients normally report experiencing discomfort and pain during emergency transport, he added.
“Sometimes the vibrations cause bleeding or secondary injuries, which means the injuries get worse,” Rahmatalla said.
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There is an ongoing debate about the pros and cons of using immobilizer systems in the theater, he said, such as the back panel, splinters, straps and collars.
“People don’t have the knowledge to know how vibration affects immobilization and how the patient moves,” said Rahmatalla. “In addition, there are no guidelines or standards imposed on the industry to develop more efficient and safer transport systems.”
Iowa Technology Institute director Karim Abdel-Malek said Rahmatalla had been conducting research for some time and had made groundbreaking discoveries, especially for emergency room patients who suffered significant injuries after the transport.
Rahmatalla said his research found there was a need to use different immobilization systems to help men and women, as gender and height can impact their existing injuries during a commute. medical help.
“What we do at ITI is basic and applied research, like what Salam did leading to these significant results, and then we transfer the technology from those results to the companies that manufacture and market the products and implement them into systems. “, said Abdel Malek.
Abdel-Malek said the Iowa Technology Institute has an “ecosystem” for researchers, providing equipment, laboratories, funds and personnel for individuals to conduct their research.
He said that publications like Rahmatalla’s have a huge impact on science.
“Salam and the UI gain notoriety when a senior professor’s book is accepted for publication because it reflects our university incredibly well,” said Abdel-Malek. “It proves to the world that top scientists are here at the University of Iowa.”