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Electrical and electronic engineering, Health-related biotechnology
We present a system designed to study the pressure at various ‘hot spots’ on the back of the body and the deformation of the spine experienced by a patient when strapped to a spinal board, and the potential alleviation of both by the addition of an inflatable “spinal raft” (or other similar device). In measuring pressure we devised a system of air-filled sacks interfaced with a PC. Each sack, placed under a particular key point on the body, is inflated until its faces just begin to separate and a switch thereby opens. The pressure reading is then captured and displayed by the computer. Seeking a non-invasive method of measuring the curvature of the vertebral column, we discovered that we could use a magnetometer to measure the vertical displacement of magnetically-tagged vertebrae from a fixed horizontal plane. The results of our study will be employed by an independent body to determine the merits or demerit of the spinal raft.
De Frein, R., Flinn, E., Burke, T.: A system for monitoring pressures and spinal curvature in spinally injured people immobilised on a spinal raft. Advances in Electrical and Electronic Engineering (Slovakia), Vol. 3, no.2, pp.209-212. May 2004.