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Specialist Carry

IV Nutrition Backpack Project :: We Need Your Help

by , January 6, 2016

We’re all about finding better ways to carry, but with carry requirements such as Steve’s, it’s even more vital that we find a great solution. And we want you to get involved…

A talented musician with a passion for the clarinet and singing. A career as a medic that spanned three decades, working his way up from Emergency Medical Technician to Paramedic and eventually a preceptor. A former Red Cross coordinator in three counties, and a qualified CERT (Community Emergency Response Training) instructor.

Steve has led a busy and fulfilled life – something to be admired in any individual, though perhaps even more so with Steve. You see, Steve has had a long history of illness and has had to undergo numerous medical procedures. He has kidney problems, Short Bowel Syndrome and requires Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) for over 12 hours a day. He also suffered a severe neck injury to his cervical vertebrae 4-5 and 5-6 during his time as a paramedic, requiring surgery that necessitated 2 titanium plates and 6 titanium screws.

Now medically disabled, Steve is unable to work and his medical conditions are severely impacting his quality of life. He needs to carry around a lot of medical supplies and equipment. The load is heavy, it’s putting strain on his body, and his current bag is not fit for purpose.

IV Nutrition Backpack Project

A Clear Carry Need

A few years ago there was a lot of interest generated for a similar carry problem. Brandon also required IV nutrition, which necessitated carrying around heavy equipment, and his bag simply wasn’t up to the task.

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There was a lot of feedback and suggestions from our awesome readers, with carry experts offering to get involved in designing a great IV backpack. Unfortunately, Brandon dropped off the project for personal reasons, so the project didn’t reach its full potential. However, one thing was evident: there is a definite need for a functional bag designed to efficiently carry IV equipment. And we want to see this realized…

Relaunching the IV Nutrition Backpack Project

You could say Steve getting in touch with us was the spark that reignited this seemingly extinguished project flame, but we need wide-scale collaboration to turn this eager flame into trailblazing carry. Both Steve and ourselves are really excited to make this happen, but this isn’t a “Steve and Carryology” project. We want this to be a project that will positively impact lots of people who are currently struggling to carry medical supplies.

In other words, we want you to get involved too! So we hope you’re eager to get stuck in…

IV Nutrition Backpack Project

How To Get Involved

The ultimate goal is to create a bag that will provide a comfortable and functional way for not only Steve but others with similar carry needs to transport medical supplies. We’d love both the carry and medical communities to share their experience and contribute their expertise. For example:

– Maybe you’re in a similar situation to Steve and have to carry around your own medical supplies. You may have made some tweaks to an existing bag that you’d like to share, or you could be struggling with a particular aspect of your carry that you’d like to highlight to help with the design process and finding a solution.

– Perhaps you’re part of or represent an organization within the medical community helping people like Steve and you want to get involved.

– You might be a designer or a manufacturer who’s eager to put their skills to great use by producing a bag that will really make a difference to people’s lives and the way they carry vital equipment on a daily basis.

– You’re a carry enthusiast with a great idea or suggestion and you want to share it.

We’d love to get an active discussion going in the comments section at the bottom of this post, so please do share your thoughts and suggestions. Maybe you have design ideas; perhaps you’re frustrated with your own medical carry and would love to see a specific feature on a bag. Perhaps you have manufacturing or design experience with a similar project. We’d love to hear from you.

In addition to sharing your thoughts in the comments, we also want people who are keen to get hands-on with this project to reach out to us. If you’re one of them, drop us an email at info@carryology.com and tell us a little about yourself, your relevant skills or expertise (for example, designer, manufacturer, representative of an interested medical organization, someone in a similar situation to Steve, etc.) and how you want to be involved. Please put “IV Nutrition Backpack Project” in the subject line of your message.

IV Nutrition Backpack Project

Steve’s Carry Requirements

For some context and to get the creative juices flowing, here is a list of what Steve needs to carry on a daily basis:

  • Central line medications
  • 10ml needle with syringe
  • 5ml Heparin flushes
  • 10ml Saline flushes
  • Scissors
  • Central line change tray
  • Central line supplies
  • AC adapter
  • AA batteries
  • Glucose kit
  • Oral medication
  • Gloves
  • TPN solution 2500ml
  • GemStar Hospira pump
  • Tubing

 

Labeled IV Nutrition Backpack

Design Considerations

All in, the carry requirements above weigh around 10 lbs. (roughly 4.5 kg). That’s some serious weight, so the bag itself needs to be as light as possible while finding a balance between durability and functionality.

In addition to being lightweight, it is also vital that the bag is comfortable to wear. Steve has a chest port, so it’s important that the bag’s design doesn’t interfere with this. Furthermore, Steve needs a lot of padding in the shoulder straps because of the titanium plates and screws in his cervical region. If there isn’t sufficient padding it causes spasms.

Some of the medical equipment is very expensive, so there needs to be adequate padding/protection for this.

IV Nutrition Backpack Project

Carry options for adding extra equipment as and when needed would be useful. It would also be great to get ideas on how and where to add storage for additional items such as a phone, water bottle, headphones, snacks, etc.

Steve’s current backpack has a window on the outside that allows him to control the pump’s keypad and see the display without opening the bag. This is a handy feature that would be good to incorporate in the new bag design.

The section of the bag that contains the TPN solution should be easily cleanable. Also something to bear in mind is that Velcro won’t support the TPN solution because it’s heavy. Currently Steve has rigged a clip system.

IV Nutrition Backpack Project

Importantly, this doesn’t have to be a single bag design. Remember that users will have different medical requirements and carry needs (for example many users may not require the same extent of shoulder strap padding as Steve does). With a choice of designs available, users can pick a carry piece that best covers their own needs. For example, a bag with wheels for covering long distances (to reduce body strain), a backpack for crowded areas or navigating stairs, or even a vest that can be worn under a jacket. So if you have a few different design ideas, share them!

Please bear in mind that the above considerations are by no means exhaustive, but rather starting points which will be added to and expanded upon as the project progresses.

Steve is happy to provide more in-depth medical history with individuals and organizations who are serious about participating in the project. He will be hands-on and actively involved in the project to help make the design and manufacturing processes as smooth and successful as possible. Now we understand that some people will want to be just as actively involved, while others may want to provide some useful insights, suggestions or design considerations here and there. As mentioned above, we’d love both kinds of contribution and encourage you to share your thoughts in the comments or drop us an email if you want to up your participation.

We’re extremely eager to see where this project leads. It means a huge deal to Steve, and we hope you’re equally excited to get involved in creating life-changing carry.

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