Hospitals treating COVID-19 patients around the world are using the prone-positioning of patients with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) as an effective therapy to increase blood oxygenation and reduce mortality. Turning anesthetized patients safely requires at least 3-5 medical nurses and can be tedious to do with current methods. helpfulETH’s project proposes a simple mechanical solution to facilitate the proning procedure and reduce the amount of personnel needed.
The Proning Taco consists of two parts that are wrapped around the patient before turning, the bottom of which remains under the patient during the “parking” period. A functional model was created for preliminary testing by the University Hospital of Zurich (USZ). The tests concluded that while the system has the potential to facilitate rotation, particularly for heavier patients, issues with axial stability during rotation need to be overcome to present a safe and viable product.
The blueprints for the design along with detailed test results are entered into the public domain for independent future development.
The publication can be found here.