Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science




Gregory Davenport


Rescue and governmental agency operations often require personal protective equipment (PPE). During hazardous operations, PPE can consist of many layers, be encapsulated, and increase work environment temperatures. The prolonged use of personal protective equipment (PPE) can potentially become hazardous to responders that are required to wear them. Methods used to detect specific physiological changes in preventing dangerous events stemming from prolonged use of PPE still need to be better understood. Emerging technologies in real-time physiological status monitoring (RT-PSM) can measure an array of physiological data points, including oxygen saturation, heart rate, electrocardiogram(ECG), respiratory rate, body temperature, and activity/movement. The goals of RT-PSM equipment are to help mitigate the risks of heat-related illness, altered mental status, or susceptibility to slip, trips, and fall hazards associated with using PPE. RT-PSM are integral in conducting operations in PPE by increasing individual and command situational awareness, early detection of potential changes in an individual’s physical status, early detection of exposure to hazardous agents, and identification of casualties. This paper serves to discuss technologies in RT-PSM developed for the first responder and service member community, their capabilities, applications, limitations, and focus for the future.


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