Core77 Design Awards
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In order to protect themselves from radiation exposure, interventionalists and their teams have previously been required to wear lead aprons, lead acrylic glasses, thyroid shields and related products. This gear is heavy and uncomfortable. More significantly, use over time can lead not only to damaging radiation exposure but to musculoskeletal injuries including ruptured disks and severe muscle strain. The interventionalist's choice becomes a decision between pain now or cumulative excessive radiation exposure later, with no good options. Rampart M1128 allows the interventionalist the ability to use an adjustable, freestanding, transparent wall for radiation protection - instead of wearing protection directly on their body.
Rampart M1128 benefits the interventionalist in two main ways: reduced radiation and eliminating external weight on their bodies. Based on initial studies involving medical teams that frequently use radiation-based imaging, Rampart M1128 limits radiation exposure to less than a tenth of the maximum allowed amount per the current federal occupational limit. This reduction in radiation applies to the interventionalists entire body. When using lead protection clothing, the only areas protected are what is covered by the gear. An additional advantage is that Rampart M1128 protects both the interventionalist as well as additional supporting team members in the room.
Approximately 60% of interventionalists and those wearing protective lead experience back pain within 20 years. Rampart M1128 can significantly reduce the potential for this type of injury. Rampart M1128 also allows interventionalists with limited musculoskeletal injury to continue working post-injury without risking greater exposure to radiation or additional physical loading that could exacerbate previous injuries.
The benefits to the interventionalist also affect their patients. Because of the reduced amount of radiation exposure, interventionalists can use radiation for longer durations of time to provide improved "sight" during procedures. For example, interventionalists can use a higher frame rate of imaging "pictures" in key areas without risking excessive radiation exposure. This can result in better care and outcomes for patients. Also, by offloading the weight and restrictiveness of the protective gear to the Rampart "wall", the interventionalist is exposed to less physical stress during the procedure and can remain at peak performance to provide the highest level of care.
Design details of Rampart M1128
Rampart M1128 was developed as a consolidated, mobile system that provides maximum protection within a minimal structural envelope. The resulting design provides full access to the patient for performing procedures while creating minimal visual obstruction.
In order to accomplish this, the support structure utilizes a proprietary single-column design with two integrated motors that are fully enclosed and protected inside the structure, while allowing both vertical and rotational movement. This structure allows the smallest possible panel size to provide the maximum radiation protection through precise positioning.
One of the manufacturing challenges came from the lead acrylic panels. These panels are manufactured as flat sheets. They cannot be bent or formed because this would affect the lead particle density/distribution. Rampart M1128 was designed using overlapping flat panel sections to provide the equivalent of a seamless shield for a wide range of configurations.
The entire system was designed for ease of cleaning using white smooth, powder-coated surfaces with minimal crevices and obstructions. An additional protective draping system was developed to meet standard requirements for disposable drapes in the operating environment.