QUT biomedical engineers, together with an industry partner are solving a major problem for young patients with unusual body shape who require lengthy corrective spinal surgery.
QUT Associate Professor Paige Little, from the Biomechanics and Spine Research Group (BSRG) in the School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering, has led a long-running research program with mattress manufacturer Sealy of Australia, using state-of-the-art imaging technology to understand the ideal body position and support to enhance sleep quality.
Optimal positioning of a patient during complex spine surgery is vital because the patient must lie for a lengthy period on their stomach,” Professor Little said.
“When the patient has abnormalities in their body structure such as prominent or unstable ribcage or sternum, it is particularly difficult to prevent tissue injuries or cardiovascular complications caused by the prolonged pressure on the skin and thorax.”
Professor Little said the BSRG Team believed the newly developed process to design and manufacture a patient-specific theatre support mattress was likely to be the first in the world.