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Student Designs Towel To Save Babies Who Stop Breathing

Student Designs Towel To Save Babies Who Stop Breathing

Nina hopes her design will have a 'global impact' on resuscitation...

Ciara Sheppard

Ciara Sheppard

A student has created a towel that could help resuscitate babies when they stop breathing.

Nina Birchard, a 23-year-old product design engineering student, was attempting to solve issues surrounding heat loss and positioning of babies when they are being resuscitated when she came up with the idea.

The Resusci Towel is a small blue towel with printed instructions on the front of how to resuscitate a baby if they stop breathing.


It also comes with a handheld pump which inflates when squeezed to provide neck support for the baby, opening its airways.

With around six per cent of babies worldwide needing some sort of resuscitation every year, Nina hopes her invention will have a 'global impact' on resuscitation.

She explained: "I came up with it after working for a company last summer who design CPR devices.

"I kind of got the idea by getting interested in the products they designed and looking online at the challenges they face.

"I came across a piece of research which was trying to solve the problem I'm tackling.

"It led me to want to explore the problem further surrounding the positions of babies and heat loss during resuscitation."


Nina added: "Around six per cent of babies worldwide every year need some form of resuscitation and the problem about positioning is something I'm trying to tackle."

During her course, Nina studied the current methods for resuscitation and took a first aid course.

"I looked at what midwives performing the procedure currently do if they're in an emergency, to try and understand what the current situation is," she said.

"I took part in a training course where I could observe people and saw they're using towels already and realised there's an opportunity to use something that's already in use.

"One of the great things is it has printed instructions on it so it gives people the basic steps to perform the procedure.

"There's a collar support and when you squeeze the pump it fills with air and it elevates their upper back - opening their airways to try and ventilate them and get their first breath."


She added: "That level of support that's needed can vary a lot depending on the size of the baby and I've designed it so it can be adjusted in a really quick way.

"It also reduces the chances of confusion and helps get the procedure right.

"It's pretty dangerous to use the adult technique on a baby."

Nina also hopes her design, which she has filed a patent for, can will be used by midwives and doctors delivering newborns.

She said: "I think based on the feedback I've got already it gives less confident health professionals the confidence and ability to carry out the procedure quickly and effectively.

"I would like to see it implemented in Scotland at least and even one day make a global impact."

Nice going, Nina!

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Topics: Science, Life News, health news