Designing Airway Management Equipment To Optimise Paramedic Performance
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Paramedics respond to stressful and unpredictable cardiac arrest emergencies filled with information they need to process. During cardiac arrest resuscitations, Paramedics use various types of Airway Management equipment to provide oxygen to the patient. Airway Management equipment originated from the anaesthesiology department in the hospital. Consequently, the Airway Management equipment was not designed to suit the challenging and unpredictable pre-hospital setting. By applying a Human-Centred Design and Action Research approach; this research aimed to investigate the factors that impact Paramedic's cognitive load, and to improve the efficiency of using Airway Management equipment during patient resuscitation. Paramedics and paramedicine students were recruited for expert interviews, an ethnographic study, and think-aloud sessions to help gain a better understanding of the Airway Management equipment in the context of a patient resuscitation. The data from these methods were analysed to identify opportunities for design when using the Airway Management equipment. Three areas for design were identified as the connector pieces of the Airway Management equipment, the tube holder, and the equipment storage. These products were refined with User testing sessions where the intended users provided feedback to improve the usability of each design. As a result each of the three designed components were tailored better to meet their needs when undertaking patient resuscitation. The findings contribute an understanding of the benefits of Human-Centred design approach to designing with paramedics in the pre-hospital setting. Gaining a better understanding of the external factors that impact paramedics during patient resuscitations and feedback from users, helped develop beneficial design solutions. The design outcomes include three product components to support the Airway Management process. These components aim to reduce cognitive load, stress, and improve paramedic performance. This research highlights the opportunities of a Human-Centred design approach and supports further research into the improvement of other medical equipment for use in the pre-hospital setting.