To address the inadequacy of existing standards regarding interior layout design, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and BMT Designers and Planners have collaborated to develop new designs and standards for ambulance patient compartments. This paper presents a simulation-based approach to evaluate proposed designs. These designs are based on an initial set of requirements to improve the safety and performance of emergency medical service providers. Those requirements address previously identified hazards stemming from i) the inability of providers to remain safely restrained while treating patients and ii) the musculoskeletal damage associated with the frequent and awkward body postures and strains that arise from working in the confined space of the patient compartment. We have developed 3D computer models of the patient compartment and simulation models of providers performing a range of typical tasks. In this paper, we show how we used those models to evaluate the effectiveness of two concept designs in facilitating the ability of the providers to perform a range of medical care tasks while remaining seated and restrained. The results of this research has led to a final set of requirements recommendations that we believe will lead to better design standards and guidelines for the next generation of ambulances.
Citation: Simulation-Transactions of the Society for Modeling and Simulation International
Pub Type: Journals
emergency medical care, patient compartment design, design requirements, modeling and simulation