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Post from Junkyard Automata: Disaster Preparedness

Junkyard Automata: Disaster Preparedness | Past Projects

  • Hypothermia is a serious danger to high altitude climbers. When a patient suffering from hypothermia is brought to a hospital for medical assistance, a doctor typically begins treating the patient by setting him or her up with a heated IV. Injecting warm saline solution into the body raises the patient’s core body temperature as well as hydrates and provides the patient with nutrients. This ultimately relieves hypothermia. A large problem is that often times those suffering from hypothermia do not have immediate access to medical assistance. We wanted to create a portable heated IV for extreme climate situations and/or high altitude climbers suffering from hypothermia or dehydration. This product is not supposed to heal a person completely, it is intended to be used as a temporary aid to prolong the user’s life until they can receive medical assistance.

    The device purifies the water using a cap with built in UV lights. This "purifier" screws into a separate compartment containing ceramic resistors that heat the IV drip reservoir. After being purified and heated, the water flows through the IV tubing until it reaches the needle. The needle is intended to be clipped into the specialized cuff created. The cuff is an 3D printed semi-circle placed on a person's forearm. The cuff is designed to simplify and secure the injection of the IV needle into the person's vein. The other compartments of the cannister hold other necessary components including the salt tablet/packet, a vein finder (Infrared light device), etc.

    The importance of the product is clear--it could be the defying factor of a high altitude climber's survival. Without the Portable Warm IV, a person could possibly die of hypothermia on the mountain but with the IV, the chance of his or her core body temperature warming enough to prolong the survival long enough to receive medical assistance is likely. There are no existing products that are capable of helping high altitude mountaineers let alone in extreme conditions return their body to a normal temperature. Since hypothermia is such a serious threat to the lives of mountaineers, it is crucial to have a device that would keep them alive at high altitudes and dangerously cold temperatures. The portable warm IV would bring the user fundamental and pragmatic medical attention immediately, making it a life-changing product... Literally.