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Blunt pressure to chest & abdomen

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  • Blunt pressure to chest & abdomen

    We have been asked to research an industrial safety problem in
    which a reasonably fit male worker might be subjected (after an
    accident) to a load (cushioned by a large air-bag) on the chest or
    on both chest and abdomen while lying (in some random position)
    on a hard surface. We discern two problems:

    a) What transient (short term - say 1 sec) load can an individual
    tolerate without sustaining serious injury?

    b) What steady-state load can an individual tolerate for an
    extended period of time (say 60 minutes) before cardio-
    respiratory decompensation?

    We assume that the limiting factor will be respiratory. Either
    minute volume will decline or portions of the lung will become
    atelectatic causing CO2 retention, increased pH and/or hypoxia.
    Cardiac output might decrease which might lead to decreased O2

    We have been unable to find any good literature on the topic and
    would appreciate any assistance. We have looked mainly for motor-
    vehicle accident literature.

    Thank you in advance.

    Martin Turner.

    Martin Turner (TURNER@ODIE.EE.WITS.AC.ZA)
    Electrical Engineering Dept, University of the Witwatersrand, PO
    Wits, 2050, South Africa. Tel: 27 11 716-5440; Fax: 27 11 403-1929