Tuesday, June 24, 2014

An Ultra-Simple Tourniquet That’s Saving Soldiers’ Lives

Wired - When you think of surgery, images of calm doctors working on anesthetized patients in pristine operating rooms come to mind. Combat medics face a different reality. They often ply their trade on dusty desert roads, and, when trying to save a soldier’s life, a charred Humvee door sometimes has to suffice for an operating table.

Medics across all branches of the armed services are prepared for situations like these. Dr. Sam Scheinberg is a veteran combat surgeon and saved his share of soldiers in Vietnam. As CEO of SAM Medical he commissioned Portland-based design firm Ziba to develop a tourniquet that can help save the lives of wounded soldiers. His only caveat was was that it had to be “brain dead and bomb proof.”

Ziba has won awards for its work for Adidas, Costco, and Logitech, but designing for users who are pinned down by sniper fire was a new experience. In response, they tossed their sketchpads and CAD workstations and opted to prototype solutions by crawling on the floor of their studio and dodging imaginary mortar shells. They whipped up prototypes made from duct tape and scrap materials.   Read More