A design of an improved wheelchair for paraplegic children at N.O.H. school for the Crippled & Philippine Orthopedic Center.
Date of Publication
Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering
Gokongwei College of Engineering
Awarded as best thesis, 2002
Executive Summary. Wheelchairs are very important aids for those people who suffer from immobilization of legs that are due to some accidents and sickness such as spinal cord injury, paralyzed lower body, amputation and cerebral palsy. Having wheelchair aids, these people at least perform other things that normal persons do and enjoy in performing physical activities. As of today, manufacturers give less attention to wheelchair designs that give comfort to children who suffer from the same illnesses. Children would either haved to wait until their body is compatible to the present design and dimension of the wheelchair or use the current wheelchair design but have to endure the consequences of that incompatibility such as discomfort and pain.
This has motivated the group to design a wheelchair that is ergonomically designed for paraplegic children in order to help them improve their present status. With this in mind, a survey of children ranging from 6 to 12 years old in the N.O.H. School for the Crippled and Philippine Orthopedic Center was made in order to ensure that whatever the group would design is in accordance with their need. There were 44 respondents and among them are 54.55% male and 45.45% female who are all using wheelchairs.
The result of the survey showed that all of the subjects felt discomfort that leads to pain when using their wheelchairs. 70.45% of the subjects felt pain in their backs followed by 63.64% who felt pain in the buttocks, 40.91% experience pain in the arms, 18.18% felt pain in the head and neck and 9.09% of the subjects felt pain and discomfort in their legs in using the wheelchair.
There are reasons why pain and discomfort occur in the parts of the body of the wheelchair users. The subjects enumerated the reasons or the types of complaints. The top five reasons of complaints are the following: (1) Too large/too small seat width (79.55%), (2) Too low/high armrest height (61.36%) (3) Difficulty in transferring from wheelchair to another chair/ bed (59.1%) (4) Improper cushion of seat (56.82%), (5) Too low/ too high backrest height (43.18%).
The checklists were also made with the objective of formulating a House of Quality Matrix in order to ensure or validate that the problem obtained from the first survey form is the same with the answers in the checklist or in the House of Quality Matrix.
With all the survey and data gathered, the problem of the study is Current wheelchair designs are not suitable to children ranging from 6 to 12 years old since they are experiencing discomfort and pain in the different parts of the body such as the back, buttock, arms, head and neck, and legs.
Based on the data gathered, the group formulated three alternative designs that could address the needs of the users. These alternatives are evaluated by making use of a Kepner-Tregoe Decision Analysis. After the evaluation, the proposed design was selected due to its advantages such as Push Levers for Manueverability Using Shafts, Adjustable Seatrest & Backrest Using Nuts & Bolts, Adjustable Aluminum X-brace, Foldable Headrest, Reclined seat rest, Recilned backrest, Breathable Seat and Backrest Canvas, Elevating Footrest/legrest/Swinging Armrest and Pocket.
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Araga, M., CaÃ±a, A., & Gutierrez, C. (2002). A design of an improved wheelchair for paraplegic children at N.O.H. school for the Crippled & Philippine Orthopedic Center.. Retrieved from https://animorepository.dlsu.edu.ph/etd_honors/173