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Engineering  |  Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS)

Mayo Radiology (Zipper Team)


Meeting Time

Tuesdays, 5:15-6:05 PM

Project Description

Radiologist, Dr. Jonathan Flug, and Radiology Tech, Lisa Ponce, brought attention to the problem when the patient are requiring a chest x-ray to be performed in the radiology office. The current chest xray procedure is to have the patient stand and hold onto a x-ray plate to get a posterior and side x-ray of the chest. The nurse and radiology tech rely on the patient’s ability to hold themselves up in a standing position. Although the patient may seem to be in good health, at least eight patients every year have fallen or fainted during an x-ray causing injury and other complications. The falling occurs due to the misjudgement of the nurse or tech because they lack the necessary medical history or current condition of the patient.

The alternative option for the nurse and the radiology tech is to have the patient lay down on a table; however, this results in a poor quality x-ray with the x-ray plates underneath the patients causing folding of the skin by the pressure due to gravity on the plate. Paragraph 2) Describing Proposed Solution, Approach, Work To Date Currently, the wheelchair’s back, armrest, and wheel are blocking the x-ray scan. We have taken steps to modify the wheelchair to be able to allow a clean x-ray to be administered. A cushion has been implemented to allow the patient to be above the wheels. In addition, we were able to have a way to remove the arm by having a joint that is able to get the arm out of the way of the x-ray. This avoids having the nurse or radio tech having to mechanically remove the arm like in the current wheelchair. However, this only solves some of the problems caused by the patient staying in the wheelchair. We are currently working on solutions to not allow the backing of the wheelchair to show up in the x-ray scan.

Our current solution is to implement a zipper that allows for complete removal of the back as well as having a headrest attached to the handles to be able to “catch” the patient if the patient loses control. We are also working on a caddy that will be able to hold the oxygen tank during transportation of the patient and during the procedure.