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A Health Hazard Assessment for Blast Overpressure Exposures (Subtitle: Trauma Assessment for Warrior's Medic)

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Final rept.

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The US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command MRMC, through its Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center TATRC has programs to give the battlefield medic the technology to save lives, especially in the early, critical minutes after wounding or injury. It is not known at this time what will be needed to accomplish this mission. It probably involves sensors on the soldier to determine his physical and physiological state, location gear to know where he is, and communication gear to get the information to the commander so he can take action. The soldiers pack is already so heavy, however, that it is unlikely that more gadgets will be added simply to help the medical function. Therefore, for the foreseeable future, the medics will have to piggy-back on some other system. A separate Army program is working on equipping the 2lst century soldier with state-of-the-art sensors, computers, and communication gear to maximize his fighting ability. The Land Warrior LW Program is developing that equipment and will begin testing in the next year or so. The LW backpack contains a computer with a Dead Reckoning Module DRM. The DRM is a plug in board containing a three-axis accelerometer, three-axis magnetometer, and pressure and temperature sensors. It works as an elaborate pedometer to calculate the soldiers motion on foot and serves as a back up to the GPS system. MRMC wants to determine if the DRM could provide acceleration data that might indicate whether the soldier has been wounded. If so, it may be feasible to modify the on-board software to process the signal in this way and send a 911 call. If the current DRM is not adequate, then MRMC wants to know what would be the right data to collect so that technology could be inserted in future LW upgrades.

Subject Categories:

  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Computer Programming and Software

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