Team: Aran Bahl, Matt Chan, Karthik Prasad, Sara Sampson
Client: Dr. Richard Wang, MD, Clinical Fellow in Pulmonary Medicine at UCSF
Dr. George Su, MD, Associate Professor at UCSF
Problem: Infrequent vital sign monitoring due to low staff to patient ratios. Non-functional, non-intuitive, and/or missing equipment.
Needs Statement: A low cost device to frequently monitor vital signs in developing countries.
High mortality rates in low resource area hospitals, such as those in sub-Saharan Africa, have been linked to infrequent vital sign monitoring of admitted medical patients. More often than not, vital signs in low resource settings can be recorded as infrequently as once per day to once every few days, as compared to U.S. hospitals where it is normal to measure vital signs every few hours or even continuously. Even at this rate, it is uncommon for nurses to thoroughly chart the vital sign trends of each patient, which is essential for detecting gradual changes in temperature (T), heart rate (HR), respiratory rate (RR), or blood pressure (BP), all of which can be indicators of more serious complications. The major reason for this infrequency in recording and tracking fundamental vital signs can be attributed to the lack of available resources in some healthcare centers. In the developing world, an estimated 60-80% of all lives lost are linked to sepsis. Major indicators of sepsis include changes in core temperature, HR, and RR. These warning signs, if left untreated, can lead to severe sepsis, septic shock, or even death.
Population: Moderately unstable or infectious patients patients at risk for sepsis.
Outcome: Decrease in the mortality rates related to septic shock.