Written by Terry Trewin AFSM, Senior Logistician
AUSMAT Logistics/Engineering has achieved a remarkable milestone by successfully developing, building and implementing a medical oxygen manifold system and internal reticulated oxygen distribution designed for field use during deployments. This achievement highlights the team's ongoing dedication to innovation and excellence in disaster medical logistics.
In previous AUSMAT responses, the practice of placing oxygen cylinders on the floor behind patients presented significant safety concerns due to the challenges associated with managing and transporting these cylinders within shelter environments. Recognising the need for a safer and more efficient solution, AUSMAT Logistics/Engineering embarked on the development of the oxygen manifold system and piped oxygen in the AUSMAT facility.
This new AUSMAT oxygen manifold system represents a groundbreaking advancement for emergency medical teams (EMT). Testing of the first stage of the reticulated oxygen system, which meets Australian and International standards, saw the team deliver 15 litres per minute to 12 bedside flow meters, with minimal pressure drop. The next stage is to deliver oxygen to other critical areas within the EMT facility.
Additionally, the oxygen manifold features an automated warning system that advises when cylinders are running low and includes an automatic changeover mechanism to automatically switch to a full cylinder bank, ensuring an uninterrupted supple of oxygen. It also allows the team to hot-swap cylinders when supplies are intermittent.
In AUSMAT response scenarios, where time is critical, the new oxygen manifold system prioritises patient and staff safety and streamlines the delivery of oxygen throughout the high-dependency ward. This innovative approach significantly enhances the efficiency and safety of oxygen distribution in the field, making it a game-changer in the realm of disaster response.
The Logistics/Engineering team is now refining the specialised system for the operating theatre and enhancing its suitability for transport in austere environments. It is intriguing what you find inside AUSMAT’s space cases.
After years of design work and interruptions from COVID-19, AUSMAT’s new oxygen generators are due to arrive soon. Producing a combined 160 lpm and with cylinder filling capabilities, this is a significant improvement in our capabilities and self-sufficiency.