Student creates towel to help resuscitate babies who stop breathing
Nina with the Resusci Towel (Picture: SWNS)
Would you know how to give CPR if your baby stopped breathing?
A student has come up with a genuis idea to help people know what to do in an emergency – the Resusci Towel.
Nina Birchard designed the towel, which comes with instructions printed on it and a hand pump which, when squeezed, inflates an adjustable neck support to raise the upper back to help clear a baby’s airways.
Nina hopes her ingenious design will have a ‘global impact’ on baby resuscitation.
The 23-year-old product design engineering student is trying to solve issues surrounding heat loss and the positioning of babies while they are being resuscitated.
Around six per cent of babies, every year worldwide, need some form of resuscitation, according to Nina who says her creation could help midwives delivering newborns.
Nina showing the instructions for the Resusci towel
Nina hopes the towel will help healthcare professionals (Picture: James Chapelard / SWNS)
Nina, who has filed for a patent on her design said: ‘I came up with it after working for a company last summer who design CPR devices.
‘I kind of got the idea by getting interested in the products they designed and looking online at the challenges they face.
‘I came across a piece of research which was trying to solve the problem I’m tackling.
‘It led me to want to explore the problem further surrounding the positions of babies and heat loss during resuscitation.
‘Around six per cent of babies worldwide every year need some form of resuscitation and the problem about positioning is something I’m trying to tackle.’
In coming up with her work, Nina researched equipment and methods already used in resuscitation and even took part in a resuscitation course.
She said: ‘I looked at what midwives performing the procedure currently do if they’re in an emergency, to try and understand what the current situation is.
nina with a fake baby showing how to use the towel
The towel includes instructions on how to give CPR (Picture: James Chapelard / SWNS)
‘I took part in a training course where I could observe people and saw they’re using towels already and realised there’s an opportunity to use something that’s already in use.
‘One of the great things is it has printed instructions on it so it gives people the basic steps to perform the procedure.
‘There’s a collar support and when you squeeze the pump it fills with air and it elevates their upper back – opening their airways to try and ventilate them and get their first breath.
‘That level of support that’s needed can vary a lot depending on the size of the baby and I’ve designed it so it can be adjusted in a really quick way.
‘It also reduces the chances of confusion and helps get the procedure right.
‘It’s pretty dangerous to use the adult technique on a baby.’
Nina, who exhibited her work during the Glasgow School of Art Degree Show, hopes to see it adopted by doctors and midwives.
She said: ‘I think based on the feedback I’ve got already it gives less confident health professionals the confidence and ability to carry out the procedure quickly and effectively.
‘I would like to see it implemented in Scotland at least and even one day make a global impact.’