Physiological Monitoring for Military Nursing


Name: Elizabeth Hill

Rank: LTC, USA

Organization: Henry M. Jackson Foundation

Performance Site: Tripler Army Medical Center, Tripler AMC, HI; Oceanit Laboratories, Inc., Honolulu, HI; Wheeler Army Air Field, HI; US Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory, Fort Rucker, AL

Year Published: 1996

Abstract Status: Final


The American soldier has participated in a variety of operations from Southwest Asia to Bosnia. In each conflict, the nursing mission was to ensure that wounded and sick soldiers obtained prompt medical attention and/or evacuation to definitive care. Aeromedical evacuation is a life-saving process for many; unfortunately monitoring vital signs, normally a simple and routine procedure, is nearly impossible to perform in this high noise environment. Clearly, the military medical system needs a portable, non-invasive device that is capable of monitoring a soldier's vital signs in the field environment. Recent developments in materials and data processing have created the potential for a new monitoring device using piezoelectric film, an electrically active fluoropolymer. Although the medical applications of piezoelectric film are still in its infancy, the testing of medical instruments is promising. The proposed project seeks to develop a prototype physiological monitor, a Passive Physiological Monitor (P2M) using piezoelectric film for use in various field environments. The steps will be first to develop the software and hardware for accurate measurement of vital signs, then test the P2M compared to a standard monitoring system using normal volunteers in a low noise environment. The next step in testing the P2M will be in a high noise environment simulating a MEDEVAC helicopter. The final step will be testing the P2M in an actual MEDEVAC helicopter at Ft. Rucker to determine its air worthiness. A descriptive, correlational design will be used in the collection and evaluation of the data. The variables of accuracy, precision, user characteristics, and patient comfort will be evaluated at each step. Each variable will be measured by comparing the P2M system to a standard monitoring system and a human evaluator in low noise, high noise, and helicopter environments. Accuracy and precision will be analyzed using time frequency distributions and the degree of concordance between systems using a correlation coefficient. Perceived user characteristics and patient comfort for each method will be compared by ANOVA.


Final report is available on NTRL: