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Engineering student Hal designs new life-saving emergency medical kit for London air ambulance

PUBLISHED: 12:11 22 November 2019 | UPDATED: 12:11 22 November 2019

Hal Dubuisson and a beaming medic at the Air Ambulance charity about to test his new artery medical kit. Picture: QMUL

Hal Dubuisson and a beaming medic at the Air Ambulance charity about to test his new artery medical kit. Picture: QMUL

QMUL

A student graduate has designed a new medical kit in his studies which is to be used by the Air Ambulance at the Royal London Hospital to help save lives.

Queen Mary University graduate Hal Dubuisson shows air ambulance medic his new design kit to speed up artery treatment. Picture: QMULQueen Mary University graduate Hal Dubuisson shows air ambulance medic his new design kit to speed up artery treatment. Picture: QMUL

Hal Dubuisson, who has just graduated at Queen Mary University's Mile End campus with a first degree in design and creative engineering, came up with a kit that simplifies how resuscitation and endovascular balloon techniques are used to stem bleeding.

"Their current kit is letting them down," Hal explained. "I saw this as a chance for a 'user-centred design' to speed up the paramedic crews' procedures for emergency vascular treatment."

Hal monitored their training programme during his studies and found the way life-saving equipment is transported and used was having a "negative impact".

He came up with a design based on the layout of a book that guides paramedics to the next piece of equipment, so they can focus on the patient rather than rummaging for the correct piece and dealing with waste build up.

Hal's 'wonder kit' that London's air ambulace is to carry on board to speed up treating injured patients at the scene of emergenies. Picture: QMUL Picture: QMULHal's 'wonder kit' that London's air ambulace is to carry on board to speed up treating injured patients at the scene of emergenies. Picture: QMUL Picture: QMUL

"I could never have imagined when I started university that I would invent a product that would help save lives," Hal added. "I can't wait to discover more opportunities to apply design practices to improve treatments for trauma."

Hal's kit carries the equipment where a miniature balloon is inflated into the artery to stop blood loss while still allowing it to flow to vital organs, a method first developed 10 years ago at the former London Chest Hospital in Bethnal Green.

The Air Ambulance crew at Whitechapel was the first team in the world to perform balloon artery treatment on location outside hospital, often in unpredictable complex circumstances.

Dr Samy Sadek, from London Air Ambulance service, said: "We only perform this procedure on the most critically injured patients in stressful circumstances where we are up against time. Hal's clever design makes performing the artery procedure simpler and quicker—it's going to help us save lives."

The Air Ambulance treats emergency patients in time-critical and life-threatening situations. A trauma doctor and paramedic gets to the injured patient by helicopter or rapid response car to perform emergency treatment on the spot, saving time getting the patient to hospital.

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