Burn Victim Care Unit
Our group is addressing one of the biggest global public health problems, according to the World Health Organization: burns. Each year an estimated 180,000 people die because of burns, and the vast majority of these deaths come from low-income countries. A lot of steps have been taken in the form of burn prevention, but not enough has been done in the way of advancing burn care treatment.
Studies find that the reason for such a high mortality rate from burn injuries in low-income countries is a lack of burn care knowledge and resources, resulting in infections. The hospitals don’t have the financial means to afford some of the more complicated burn treatment machines needed, nor do they have the time and money to train hospital staff in the proper procedures.
We focussed on one of the countries where this issue is most prevalent: Malawi. People of all ages can be affected by burns, but it is found most commonly in children and in women. Specifically, we researched the hospital that our community partner has ties to, and we found issues of unsterile equipment, improper use of antibiotics, and an overall lack of resources. Moreover, burn patients are currently being moved across the hospital for treatment, which exposes them to numerous infections from other patients.
Our solution is a portable shower that uses low concentration bleach solution and adequate water pressure to debride and disinfect the wounds, and allow them to heal properly. Currently we are in the prototyping phase of our design and have gathered all the materials we need in order to start testing.