back to article NHS study produces ejector-seat ambulance design

There are a lot of medical and healthcare tech programmes underway at the moment, but not many of them feature an ambulance equipped with an ejector seat. Here at the Pioneers 09 save-the-economy-through-techbiz expo in London, though, just such a concept model is on display. The Autocare ejector ambulance concept on show at …

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Ash
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Ejector seat?!

Clearly they've never seen the inside of a fire engine.

They don't swing the respirators on their back outside, bub. Those things are build into the seat back in such a way that they can put on their seatbelt, and while the driver handles the truck the crew can put the harness on underneath the restraint.

Maybe a modification of that design, being a release mechanism for the medical "backpack" (which acts as the seatbelt), is in order. Either way, over engineered by fruit-cake designers. They should have done Art instead.

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strange

i think what they forgot to mention is the next stage.

after the person has been ejected from the ambalance, they have to send 2 more out to deal with him, and the original accident. not sure what the point of asking art students to design something like this was, unless it was to prove that they should stick to art?

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Alert

*sound of jaw hitting floor*

Ejector seat design?

This is what happens when you let a bloody arts student try and grapple with reality. Speaking as a qualified medically bod, this has got to be the WORST idea. Risky doesn't cover it. First principle of attending the scene is "assess the danger", not "jump into the middle of it".

I mean honestly, how are you going to sensibly "eject" a fully equipped Paramedic faster, safer and more accurately than "open door, step out"????

Off to consider a future of airborne injury repair kits.....

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Flying paramedics?

"Speed is of the essence in the ambulance service. The Autocare Concept aims to get the pre-hospital clinician on-scene and ready to treat the patient as soon as possible. "

Yes, but if they are "projected" out and manage to injure themselves in the process then it might cause delays. Surely this is progress for progress' sake? Really, how much of a delay is caused by the usual method of "getting out of the ambulance"?

Besides, this will probably make them much more expensive, so for every 3 of these (plus paramedics) you'd be able to afford 4 standard ambulances.

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Ejector Seats? In Ambulances!

Surely if the driver is ejected out of the vehicle, in his seat, when he arrives at the scene and then decides that he needs to take the patient to hospital, he then has to waste time getting the seat back into the vehicle before he can drive it again.

There will then be an increase of cases where the patient either died at the scene or on the way to the hospital.

What a fecking ridiculous idea!

I bet Rob Thompson of the RCA backpedalled!

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Boffin

Pasty Tech

Looks like an uncooked pasty on wheels.

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art students designing ambulances?

Sigh.

When I read this I was planning on writing a cutting, but insightful response. But I just can't be bothered to expend energy, commenting on the trivial and whimsical flights of fancy of the future long-term unemployable.

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Stop

WTF?

Sigh. What quotidian minds read El Reg.

Heaven forbid that someone might just throw out some imaginative concepts that may or may not prove to be immediately practical. There should be a law against non-techies tossing out a few thoughts that aren't productised, designed, tested and completed to the satisfaction of the arrogant pedants on this cyber-rag.

Get over yourselves. At least someone's having a go at thinking at a level beyond the mundane flatulence of the average tech manager. I don't see much imaginative or creative coming out of your rant-holes.

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Joke

please please ...design it for the police

Thus leading to the obvious headline if you actually see one in your street after you report a burglary ...

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Gav
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It's Art, you plebs

You are missing the whole point, guys. Firing a qualified clinician into the middle of a car accident isn't supposed to help, it's supposed to be Art.

By seriously injuring the very individual who arrives on the seen to assist we are "cutting out the middle man". The artist is imagining our convenience driven system has developed the ultimate in convenience accident victims. Symbolically, people no longer need the inconvenience of being injured in these accidents, our modern culture developed professionals to be injured instead. It's a brilliant superimposing of supermarket ready-made-culture on top of medical science.

The fact that the clinician arrives after the accident, when it is already too late, is simply a master-stroke. The artist is commenting on the futility of our pursuit for ultimate convenience. He is saying that, in a very real way, we must all face our own car crashes alone.

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It's not April 1st yet, is it?

Seriously?

I have no doubt that excellent contributions can be made to product functional design by RCA students but give me a break - metaphorically! To have selected the idea of "ejector seats" as a serious innovation is perverse. They are used in Planes an Helicopters as Safety devices FFS.

Maybe, as a bit of lateral thinking, the idea of a paramedic being launched fully equipped from the vehicle has some merit but - and I say this with no qualification - the first step at any accident scene is to assess the situation and establish the scope. Being launched with a fully loaded syringe of morphine (for example) doesn't sound like the first step in a logical assessment to me.

This is a bit of headline grabbing time wasting. The NHS & RCA commentators/Spokesfolks should know better - but they are Spokesfolks so they can be forgiven for being brain-dead dullards.

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Go

blatant copyright fraud

I distinctly remember Frankie Howerd demonstrating a similar device in "Carry On Doctor".

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Black Helicopters

@AC 12:21

(regarding ejector seats)

> They are used in Planes an Helicopters as Safety devices FFS.

Helicopters????

Well, if you want a _really_ close shave, I suppose so.

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@Markie Dussard

You should read the article. Go ahead, I'll wait.

Done? Great. I assume you remember the line "The Autocare Concept aims to get the pre-hospital clinician on-scene and ready to treat the patient as soon as possible."?

An ejector seat fails to meet this requirement in just about every way.

1) Time savings are non-existant. It does not take a significant amount of time to open the door and step out.

2) Ejector seats carry inherent risk. Beyond just the fall itself, paramedics often deploy to scenes car crashes or similiar where the likelyhood of sharp/burning/etc debris are likely to be nearby.

The proposed solution significantly decreases the likelyhood that the paramedic will NOT be on-scene and ready to treat the patient- Instead, they will be on scene and ready for treatment AS a patient, with no to marginal increase in on-site arrival.

Many of us have experiance with similiar projects, where the complexity and expense of a project far outweighs the marginal benefits. Those of us who are good at our jobs have learned to recognize such projects, those who are not get featured here because our new Web 2.0 SAAS Meta-cloud PDA Grocery List Application burns through millions of VC funding before it fails.

This project has all the hallmarks of someone designing something cool without ever consultanting the end-user- The paramedics.

- A different Mark (Not the RIAA obsessed one), Lead Application Developer and occasional First Responder

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Anonymous Coward

Captain Scarlet?

Sounds just like the SPV from Captain Scarlet - seat slides out horizonatally and driver lowered to the ground (with or without medical backpack in this scenario).

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You've gotta remember...

they are art students. To quote the immortal Dave Lister

Lister: ...the whole of my life I've never had anything to hang on to - no roots, no parents, no education...

Rimmer: No education?

Lister: I went to art college.

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Black Helicopters

@ @AC12:21

Ejection seats in other aircraft

The Kamov Ka-50 was the first helicopter to be fitted with an ejection seat. The system is very similar to that of a conventional fixed-wing aircraft; the main rotors are equipped with explosive bolts and are designed to disintegrate moments before the seat rocket is fired.

Check it out on Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ejector_seat

Probably similar to the wind turbines rotor blades when they spin too fast.

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Ash

@Ron Murray

They are, actually.

Two designs exist (that i know of) for the use of ejector seats in helicopters. One is a mechanism for bringing the blades to a full stop before firing the canopy and seat out. The second unlocks the rotor blades from the drive shaft so there is no issue for the pilot.

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4 Markie Dussard

Bah. This wasn't imaginitive. The idea was cribbed almost wholesale from the innovative seat design used in the Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle.

If you *really* want to innovate in the emergency vehicle line and can't be arsed to think up an idea for yourself, you need to go further back in the Gerry Anderson canon to Fireball XL5 and Stingray, in which the vehicles in question were ground-effect craft able to traverse varying terrain with ease.

I mean, *wheels*? On an ambulance of the future?

It would also help if you took a gander at what EMT teams actually do before you start. That way, you could see that a team of two isn't just wanton overmanning in a World Gone Mad. Put another way: Who is going to administer CPR while the patient is being driven to somewhere where they have access to more than a backpack of supplies?

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Helicopters again...

I had a feeling somebody might have invented something of the sort, where the blades are designed to be detached (somehow) before the ejector seat fires you through the space that (supposedly) used to be occupied by them.

Personally, I don't think I'd trust it. If I need to bang out of the thing, somebody's engineering has already failed me. Why should I trust them to get the rotor-blade-removal part right either?

I suppose I should point out that I've never flown in a heli-bloody-copter, never will. Don't trust the things.

The only thing sillier than an ejection seat in a helicopter was the original F-104 design, where it fired you out downwards. Fine if you're at 400000000 feet, but not a lot of use if the engine failed on takeoff.

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@Ron Murray

There's a big difference between trusting upwards of a thousand moving parts all going at high speed in various different directions (Engine + transmission) and some simple explosive bolts designed to rapidly detach a part of your airframe.

Ofcourse because of the very nature of helicopters, you will generally be either too low for an engine failure to a problem (Because the ground will catch you before you start falling fast enough to hurt yourself), or high enough to allow for auto-rotation and thusly a safe landing.

The cases where one of those two doesn't happen generally involves either a large amount of pilot errors, in which case you're probably screwed, ejector seat or not. Or enemy weapons fire.

As for the downward ejection seat in the F-104, that made perfect sense on the drawing board, after all, the engineers figured the most likely time the thing would fail would be when it got shot at in combat. At the time of the initial design, they didn't have ejector seats that could reliably shoot the pilot clear of the aircraft at mach 2.

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Coat

Real world and art

I bet if you gave the same project title, "Design an ambulance for the future", to a bunch of 6 year olds they would come up with something very similar to the RCA chaps. Which just about says it all.

Mines the one with an engineering degree in the pocket.

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Current Blood Wagons

The trouble with the current crop of Blood Wagons is that they are all based on a flipping pannal van and not a purpose designed vehicle IIRC in the '90s Mercedes Benz supplied some to the local NHS (West Yorkshire) and when the things were loaded up the suspension grounded cost thousands to fix ,so perhaps an Ambulance designed from the ground up,taking all the kit that they will be expected to carryinto account,is not such a bad idea but please give it to the bloddy engineers first then the "artists" can tart it up.As for an ejetor seat have any of these students seen what someone who has used one looks like afterwards.

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Sam
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Re: Real world and art

"I bet if you gave the same project title, "Design an ambulance for the future", to a bunch of 6 year olds they would come up with something very similar to the RCA chaps. Which just about says it all."

I recall a Lego advert from several decades ago which showed a (Lego) ambulance designed by a (roughly) 6 year old girl.

It was a triple decker with a driver on each deck.

Her explanation was that, if the first driver took a nap, the second driver took over.....

If all three decided to fall asleep - the ambulance didn't go anywhere.

That little girl didn't grow up to be an Art student, she was already too bright.

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Anonymous Coward

I've seen the operating manual.

1. Arrive on scene.

2. Press green button to deploy ejector seat.

3. Press red button to summon another ambulance to treat your injuries.

When asked if they could see any problems with this, the designers first thought was that the buttons were the wrong colours. After two hours further deliberation, one volunteered "Hang on - after ejecting, he'll be miles away from the red button!" They then re-wrote the manual

1. Arrive on scene.

3. Press red button to summon another ambulance to treat your injuries.

2. Press green button to deploy ejector seat.

They would have renumbered the lines, but the guy with maths GCSE was off getting the cappucinos (he's the only one who can be sure they're getting the right change).

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