A project that puts the resuscitation process at the centre of a new design for the ward trolley. The resulting product improves team work between hospital staff, and incorporates new technologies to ensure that all the necessary emergency equipment and materials are present and used correctly.
West J, Halls S, Coleman R & Lowe C (2008) Resus:station: breathing life back into resuscitation Improving Patient Safety Conference proceedings July 2008, Ergonomics Society, ISBN 978-0-9554225-2-2
West J (2007) ‘resus:station; a redesign of the resuscitation trolley’ proceedings of Include 2007, Royal College of Art, London.
West J, Halls S Coleman R (2006) ‘Resuscitation Events: the design perspective’ in Resuscitation 69 (1) 56.
The resuscitation trolley is a familiar piece of mobile storage equipment on most hospital wards. Carrying defibrillators, drugs, airway equipment and more to the patient’s side, it is the traditional centrepiece of the process of resuscitation following cardiac arrest, a process that is highly dependent upon time-sensitive procedures. However, the crash trolley has some basic flaws; the variable design of this non-standardised ‘tool chest on wheels,’ and its poorly maintained or inaccessible equipment stock contribute to low survival rates.
Rather than simply improving a standalone piece of industrial equipment, the researchers, Sally Halls and Jonathan West decided to evaluate the entire process from actual use, to storage and restocking. Input from experts, users and clinicians, and time spent on the hospital ward observing real and simulated scenarios gave the designers a creative understanding of the processes involved and the problems that currently occur.
The physical characteristics of this prototype allow a resuscitation team better access to vital equipment during use. The design also has far-reaching procedural implications as it logs the team’s actions during each resuscitation attempt. Finally, the trolley also affords an instant display of its readiness for use by recording the removal and replacement of each item. The design has won two prestigious Medical Futures Innovation Awards, and has undergone a further iteration with manufacturer Bristol Maid. Comparative testing on wards in St Mary’s Hospital Paddington began in January 2008.
The resus:station is covered by US Design Patent number US D 598,107 S and corresponding European Community registered designs.