Monday, September 3, 2007

Monday, August 20, 2007

An Opportunity to Give

I was on the bus in Honduras last week, and a young man who is suffering from muscular distrophy entered. I do not know what it was about him, but listening him to him speak really touched me.

He passed out a "Constancia" from his doctor confirming his disease and inability to work. Along with it came some bank accounts where one can deposit money to help support him. His name is Javier Alexander Zela Ya and if you would like to take the opportunity, you can deposit money online to any of the following Honduran accounts:

Banco Atlantida 1200565420
Banco Ficensa 14008400
Banco del Occidente 21-604-013400-2

$2 can pay for a meal, $50 for months rent (estimated)... I do not know what surgery he is saving money for, or how much it will cost. But every little bit helps!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

C-Ankle with a Cosmesis

Our partnering prosthetists have fit the C-Ankle on a woman for whom cosmesis is very important. So they took the extra time to shape a cosmesis for her. I am very impressed with the work, as the C-Ankle adds a little extra bulk to the leg. She is very happy with the added comfort the C-Ankle provides!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

UT for REED

REED is coming to UT! Johan, Lauren, and I are in the process of starting a university student organization that will encourage student involvement in REED projects. Membership fees will cover administrative costs and the fund-raising committee will help students raise money for their projects and for travel to the region they are working with. Better yet, UT for REED membership requirements will encourage students to submit their own projects to the organization.

If you have a FaceBook log-in, search for the UT for REED group. We keep the site up-dated with upcoming events, allow discussions about the projects, post links to pertinent information, and use the site to send messages to members. Or, email us at UT4REED@gmail.com

Lauren Hagy


Senior
Public Relations
The University of Texas at Austin
Facebook Profile
Lauren is Co-Founder and Financial Director of UT for REED. She is in charge of all organization funds, including dues and donations.

Johan van Der Walt


Senior
Government, History, & Plan I Liberal Arts Honors
The University of Texas at Austin
Facebook Profile
Johan is the Co-Founder and Vice-President of UT for REED. He is in charge of Internal affairs, including membership.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Andrew Horton


Senior
Biomedical Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin
Facebook Profile
Andrew will be continuing development of the prosthetic ankle begun by the 06-07 Design Team. This summer he is designing and building a fatigue tester for the ankle.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Nivel de Amputacion para Protesis

Today I created my 2nd tri-fold for the O&P Lab at Fundacion CAMO. This pamphlet contains information for surgeons regarding the ideal level of amputation. The basic lesson is that one must take into account the lifestyle of the patient when choosing the amputation level, and that at times it is better to remove more of the limb to allow more space for the prosthetic components designed for an active lifestyle. You can download the .jpg files to print by clicking on the pictures.

NOTE: Neither of these pamphlets have been reviewed by Fundacion CAMO. If you intend to use the information in these pamphlets or would like a document for editting for your personal use, please contact me.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Class Project Winners

Dr Tunnell challenged 4 teams in his BME class to design a coloring book to help Chortiz children develop healthy habits and 4 teams to plan a strategy for getting first aid kits to the Chortiz villages (original entry). Although all teams contributed keen insite to their chosen project, the following teams were the grand prize winners (prize: an A+ on their project).


El Dia Saludable de Manuelito
Lea Downey and her team designed a coloring book that follows Manuelito during a day of healthy habits. You can preview photos of the coloring book by pressing the play button, the pdf version is coming soon.

I showed the coloring book to Chortiz and volunteers who work with them. They are very excited to introduce the book in the village schools and also gave some very good feedback. We are in the process of updating the book to meet more health needs of the children. In addition, the team developed a beautiful tri-fold poster entitled "Kids Helping Kids" for placement in elementary schools, encouraging kids and teachers to donate crayons and paper for the Chortiz children.

A Plan for Distribution of First Aid Kits
The team that won the contest for the best-planned first aid kit had some very good points. They suggest buying the materials in bulk and redistributing the pills in separate containers, if necessary. The materials would all be stored in a locked toolbox and would be accompanied by instructions in Spanish and in the Chortiz language. They suggest using CAMO as a means to solicite funds and created a pamphlet of information for potential donors. One of their suggestions for sustainabilty is to work with CVS or Walgreens to have rewards program, where the pharmacy would donate X dollars to the project for every Y dollars spent. Their report can be downloaded here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

El Cuidado de Su Protesis

Many times patients will come to the Lab with prosthetic legs that have never been washed, and look and smell horrible. In addition to the cosmetic damage negligence causes, the dirt and grime will work itself into the prosthetic, thus shortening its lifespan. Today I finished a tri-fold pamphlet in Spanish for Fundacion CAMO that can be given to each prosthetic patient, detailing the care of their leg. You can download it as a Microsoft Digital Image (.mdi) here or just click the picture to dowload the .jpg image.



Monday, May 21, 2007

Global Research

Research on the C-Ankle has moved to Honduras! From May 21-June 1, Erika Zabre will be working in the O&P Lab in Santa Rosa de Copan, Honduras. Her objectives are to make 6 to 8 C-Ankles at the Lab according to the instructions laid out by Los Estudiantes Americanos de Honduras. She will consult with the local prosthetists to refine the manufacturing process and general design. Her goal is to create a Manufacturing & Assembly manual in Spanish and English, as well as to update the video completed by the other students.

In addition to her work in the O&P Lab, Erika's trip to Honduras willl be an invaluable experience. By living in the country for a short time, she will be able to see firsthand how the amputees live. Part of REED's objectives is to open the door for students like Erika to travel to developing countries. Erika's trip was funded by the Undergraduate Research Fellowship (URF) and the Biomedical Engineering Department, both at the University of Texas at Austin.

Erika Zabre


Senior
Biomedical Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin
Facebook Profile
Erika will be continuing development of the prosthetic ankle begun by the 06-07 Design Team. Her first phase is to produce the ankle Honduras and write a manual in English and Spanish for the prosthetists.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Cost-Effective Prosthetic Ankle

Today Los Estudiantes Americanos de Honduras presented their prosthetic ankle, designed to be implemented by the Orthotics & Prosthetics Lab run by CAMO in Santa Rosa de Copan, Honduras. The following video is an amputee's feedback on the ankle.

This device is property of CAMO, and we are in the process of applying for a patent. There is still much work to do before introducing it into the market.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Class Project with Impact

I have been working with Dr James Tunnell at the University of Texas at Austin to develop a project for his class of 40 students. The goal of this project is to give the students an opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of the Chorti people while learning engineering design techniques. Click on the following link to download the project description presented to the students during the 2nd half of the course "World Health and Biotechnology."

Dr. James Tunnell


Assistant Professor
Biomedical Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin

http://www.bme.utexas.edu/faculty/Tunnell.cfm
Dr Tunnell teaches the BME course entitled "World Health and Biotechnology." His interest in presenting his class with a project that could have significance in the lives of others prompted the development of what I call here "Class Projects with Impact."

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Estudiantes Americanos de Honduras

In October 2006, Ashley, Lena, John, and Kevin chose the design of prosthetic limbs for Central Americans as their senior design project. Since then, they have identified the ankle joint as an avenue of potential benefit to amputees in the region serviced by CAMO. Because CAMO has developed a very successful laboratory in western Honduras, the students decided to design a universal ankle joint that could easily be adapted to the products already provided by the non-profit organization. The ankle will provide added utility to those working on the mountainous landscape who cannot afford an articulating foot. Their final design will be presented on April 24th, so be looking for the video online during the last week of this month!

Ashley Agan


Senior
Biomedical Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin

Ashley is one of 4 design students from the '06-'07 Team who identified the need for a universal prosthetic ankle joint and developed the first working prototype. Her main contribution as team leader is project management.

Lena Dixit


Senior
Biomedical Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin
Lena is one of 4 design students from the '06-'07 Team who identified the need for a universal prosthetic ankle joint and developed the first working prototype. Her main contribution is force analysis and ankle reponse.

John Eakin


Senior
Biomedical Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin
John is one of 4 design students from the '06-'07 Team who identified the need for a universal prosthetic ankle joint and developed the first working prototype. His main contribution is solid modeling and finite element analysis.

Kevin Ma


Senior
Biomedical Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin
Kevin is one of 4 design students from the '06-'07 Team who identified the need for a universal prosthetic ankle joint and developed the first working prototype. His main contribution is material selection.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Medical Situation in Western Honduras

Another video created from footage that two of the undergraduate students I am mentoring took during their visit to the Copan Region of Honduras in January 2007. The purpose of this video is to show the medical situation in the health clinics and public hospitals in western Honduras. It is composed of interviews and video footage.

Living Conditions in Western Honduras

I created this video from footage that two of the undergraduate students I am mentoring took during their visit to the Copan Region of Honduras in January 2007. It is comprised of 3 interviews with nationals and missionaries in the region and depicts the hard living conditions of those living in the rural regions of the country.

Friday, April 6, 2007

REED: An Introduction

Today I gave the name "Rural Enhancement through Education and Design" to a dream that has been simmering inside of me since the summer of 2006. A graduate engineering student, I had the unique opportunity to get clinical experience in prosthetics at Jackson's UMMC and Honduras' CAMO. From my experience came some hopes for my future in academics:
  • To partner with an O&P Lab or PT clinic, so that students can volunteer for at least a semester in a clinical setting before embarking on their biomechanics research
  • To develop a joint research program in a developing country, where graduate students will have the privilage to work with doctors and medical aids to provide solutions to health needs in developing nations, especially to those living in rural areas
I am already involved in two projects that developed from my travels to Honduras:
  • Prosthetic Ankle Design: A team of 4 students have identified the need of an ankle joint to improve the functionality of donated prosthetic legs for amputees in the mountainous country. Their articulating ankle will be manufactured onsite in Honduras, be fully customizable based on patient needs, and be able to withstand the harsh rural environment
  • Class Projects with Impact: I have been working with a professor of a biomedical engineering introductory class to design a class project that will support health and health education in rural Honduras. The project is integrated into 6 basic steps of engineering design and the best design solutions will be implemented by professionals working in the region.

I like the word REED for this endeavor, because although a reed is weak, it is a bearer of seeds. I do not expect my dreams to produce a large organization; rather, I hope pieces of my dreams will find soil in others and grow.

Jessica Kruidhof


Graduate Student
Mechanical Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin
I am working towards my PhD in Biomechanics. My career goal is to become a professor in my field and pursue research & development of orthotics & prosthetics. I also hope to continue leading students in the pursuit of their engineering design goals and to develop educational material along various levels of Biomedical Engineering. I serve as developer of REED and am available for contact.