NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Scientists plan device to reduce rural road deaths

Accident and emergency
Image caption The device could help treatment as patients head to hospital

Technology aimed at reducing deaths on rural roads is being investigated by scientists.

A University of Aberdeen team is developing a device to provide medical advice and support for the first person to arrive at the scene of a crash.

It would monitor and record the casualty's condition before the arrival of emergency services.

The hand-held device could be used by a doctor, nurse, paramedic, or eventually a trained community first responder.

The plan is for the first person on the scene to gather and analyse information from a sensor placed on the casualty's body to measure their vital signs.

'Critical role'

This would be to help build a picture of the condition, to pass on to the ambulance crew, and to hospital staff, in a bid to ensure all crucial information is known.

Prof David Godden, from the University of Aberdeen's Centre for Rural Health, is one of the scientists leading the project.

He said: "Statistics confirm that road traffic accidents are a major health issue in rural areas and this is combined with the additional challenges faced by emergency services working in remote areas, in terms of how long it can take to get to the scene of an accident.

"Actions taken in the time immediately after an accident has occurred play a critical role in the casualty's survival.

"We are investigating the creation of a device which would provide crucial support for the first person to arrive on the scene."

He added: "The technology could also have the potential to be transferred for use in situations in the home - for example heart attacks or asthma attacks."

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