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The UNI System is a Unified Neonatal System that serves to simplify the handling of the equipment at the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). The systems aim is to assist premature infants breathing.
The system consists out of a CPAP, Humidifier, Water bag, Edi-catheter and 4 Syringe pumps. A modular Ventilator/HFO unit is also included in the system for more extreme situations. The primary user of the UNI System is the hospital staff, such as nurses and doctors that is working in the NICU environment. Instead of having 4-5 different machines around each infant, they now only need one, the UNI system.
With the UNI system we save space in the room, where there’s are usually around 4 infants. So, from a room with 4 incubators along with 16-20 freestanding machines, we now have 4 incubators and 4 UNI Systems.
The UNI System have resulted in a more tidier and calmer work environment for the NICU personnel. The amount of scary looking machines have gently been hidden into one unit. Cables and hoses have been reduced and organized. And the fragile premature baby can get the full attention from parents through the eased kangaroo care and the NICU personnel can without hazel continue the treatment of the infant.
Cindy Sjöblom & Alexander Turesson
For this project we've been researching and observing the work and equipment at the NICU, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. When a premature infant is borne they're under developed, this causes breathing difficulties and therefore they will be treated at the NICU.The overall design challenge has been to create a system that brings together the most commonly used NICU equipment in a way that is; technically possible, user-friendly and visual appealing.
The most commonly used equipment at the NICU is the following:
- CPAP - Support breathing by suppling lungs with air to prevent lungs to collapse.
- Humidifier and Water bag - Support CPAP by heating and humidify the air going into the infants lungs.
- Edi - Prevent transition to Ventilator/HFO by tracking breathing efforts and support with extra air.
- 4 syringe pumps – For food and medications.
- Ventilator/HFO - Pushes in and out air of the lungs, does the breathing for the patien (for extreme situations).
We have been dealing with a number of problems during the project that have been categorize into the following titles:
1. Mobility & Flexibility - Is usually caused when several products are involved, which usually is the case at the NICU. When transporting the equipment along with the infant to the NICU (during the first day) 2-3 nurses are usually needed. At the NICU the mobility and flexibility continues to belimited due to the cables/hoses that goes from the infants incubator and to each of the different machines, creating a "spiderweb" restraining the mobility.
2. Cable Management - Is a big problem that is related to the "Mobility & Flexibility". The so called spaghetti syndrome is a fact, especially when dealing with several machines. The many and unorganized cables and hoses create confusion and an unorganized appearance. This effects both staff and parents. Often the parents get distract by the amount of equipment, cable/hoses and overall technical complexity. Instead of giving the infant their fully attention they start to worry and focus on the numbers and graphs. For staff this massive amount of cables/hoses can result in confusion and mistaken disconnection as well as a tripping risk.
3. Equipment Overview - Have been a problem for the staff since they often are handling several machines for only one infant. The information from different machines are shown on different screens which makes it hard for the nurse to get a full overview and status of the infant.
Our solution for those problem is the UNI system. The UNI System is a unified neonatal system that serves to simplify the handling of the equipment at the NICU. The system consists out of a CPAP, Humidifier, Serialized water bag, EDI and four Syringe pumps. A modular Ventilator/HFO unit is also included in the system for more extreme situations.
By unifying the most used NICU equipment into one system we have create a more user-friendly and flexible environment for staff, parents and infant. We save space, reducing the number of cables/hoses, as well as creating a better overview of the NICU equipment.
The primary user of the UNI System is the hospital staff, such as nurses and doctors that is working in the NICU environment. Instead of having 4-5 different machines around each infant, they now only need one, the UNI System. With the UNI System we save space in the room, where there's are usually around 4 infants. So, from a room with 4 incubators along with 16-20 freestanding machines, we now have 4 incubators and 4 UNI Systems.
The UNI System has also minimized the number of cables/hoses as well as gathered them all going into the same slot. This gives the staff a more flexible work space where they can move the UNI System without any hazel from others cables/hoses in the way. Also, since they are all going into the same slot it is now easy for the staff to get an overview of the cables/hoses and feel more confident in the cable management.
The UNI System also benefits the parents and infant. The biggest improvement for the parents is that the number of machines, cables/hoses and overall technical complexity now is reduced. This means that they will have easier focusing on the infant rather then the equipment and therefore also benefit the infant which will get more attention from both parents and staff.
The primary user is the staff. By unifying the equipment we've saved space, reduced cables/hoses and created a better equipment overview. These improvements have resulted in a tidier and calmer work environment for the NICU personal.
The parents is the secondary user. Not only the calm environment is a great benefit, but the increasing flexibility of the equipment has also facilitated kangaroo care.
The third user is the infant which basically gets more attention from parents and staff.
It's a deep, comprehensive design that integrated the hardware, the software. It's really well thought out from a user point of view.
There's fantastic detailing and problem solving... Extraordinary resolution on details, the cabinetry work, thinking even about how it can be made, was beyond student work, quite honestly.