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For people who suffer from spinal cord injuries in Nepal, rehabilitation and care are often difficult to receive, especially for those for whom fewer resources are available. Thankfully, International Nepal Fellowship (INF), a non-profit serving Nepal for nearly 70 years, aids patients with spinal cord injuries at Green Pastures Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre in Pokhara, Nepal. A crucial part of any rehabilitation is adequate exercise to improve circulation and prevent sores and muscular atrophy. Yet, due to the nature of the injury, using a traditional wheelchair is not an option to fulfill this need for those with spinal cord injuries. Therefore, Green Pastures uses prone trolleys so that these patients can exercise. A prone trolley is a horizontal cushioned board where the patient lies flat on their stomach and is able to move themselves using the wheels attached to the cushioned board. Despite the importance of the prone trolley, the trolleys at Green Pastures Hospital have a few critical issues. The major issue is that the prone trolleys are internationally imported, which not only means that delivery can take months, but also that the trolleys are also difficult to repair when damaged. Both these factors severely hamper Green Pastures Hospital’s ability to provide spinal cord injured patients with the care they need. The Nepal Prone Trolley team, a part of Messiah University Collaboratory, seeks to develop and design a fundamentally better prone trolley for INF. The goal of our project is to design a prone trolley that can be fabricated by the INF staff with locally sourced materials. The advantage of this new design is that it will be easier to obtain and can easily be repaired when needed. After creating a design that satisfies our goal and fulfills the criteria of a functional prone trolley as defined by INF, we were able to fabricate a prototype of the prone trolley using resources and techniques available in Pokhara. Moving forward, we will conduct testing and redesign the trolley so that our finalized prone trolley design will be able to transform how Green Pastures Hospital aids their spinal cord injury patients.
Funding for this work provided by The Collaboratory for Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research.
: Messiah University, Messiah College, Engineer, community, service
Miller, Abby; Sonon, Lukas; Anthony, Katie; Clemmer, Blake N.; Friend, Ryan J.; Pavlovich, Jared T.; Welch, Connor; and Van Dyke, Timothy J., "Adjustable Prone Trolley Design for People Suffering from Spinal Cords Injuries in Nepal" (2022). 2022 Collaboratory/Engineering Symposium. 12.