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Title: Novel electronic physiologic monitor potential in remote and rural search and rescue
Author: Mort, Alasdair
ISNI:       0000 0004 2700 8168
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis evaluates novel electronic physiologic monitor potential in remote and rural search and rescue. Casualties are often located a considerable distance away from definitive care. Their rescue involves a variety of groups, including volunteer rescue teams. Rescuers manage a wide range of medical problems, from minor issues to more serious, life-threatening conditions. However, casualty monitoring is restricted by steep terrain and extreme environmental conditions. Evidence indicated that novel electronic physiologic monitors were in development. Some were lightweight and wireless – it was hypothesised that such technology could facilitate health monitoring, conferring benefits to casualties and their carers. Novel physiologic monitor potential was explored using a multi-method approach, involving four methodologically distinct pieces of research. This included a reverseengineering approach to define the rescue context. A thematic review of remote and rural casualty rescues identified a potential worldwide demand for a novel monitor, although only a small proportion of casualties had severe injury. A longitudinal analysis of UK remote and rural casualties confirmed a consistent mountain rescue casualty demand for monitoring. Injury was more frequent than illness and a majority of injury involved suspected fracture to the lower extremity. A qualitative study identified evidence of support for novel monitors amongst rescuer groups. However, some felt that the environment and the variety of rescuer first-aid and medical training could negate monitor potential. A laboratory-function study evaluated the performance of an example of a novel monitor under simulated rescue conditions. There was little effect of several layers of clothing and a mountain rescue casualty bag on data accuracy. Taking all the evidence gathered into consideration, it was concluded that novel electronic physiologic monitors did have potential in remote and rural search and rescue. A concept design for a rescue-specific physiologic monitor was proposed, including software, hardware and architecture for future use.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Search and rescue operations ; Rescue work