CSU Engineering Students Designing Medical Wagon for Children’s Hospitals

Note to Editors: A photo of the wagon is available with the news release at http://www.newsinfo.colostate.edu/.

Colorado State University mechanical engineering professor Anthony Marchese and a senior design team are teaming up with an independent business, MedWagon, to design wagons accommodated with IV poles and other medical equipment for children’s hospitals.

As a pediatric nurse, Angie Potter, the president and founder of MedWagon, has experienced first-hand the problems associated with transporting sick children within healthcare facilities. She developed MedWagon in collaboration with local manufacturers to help pediatric staff members and parents move children efficiently and comfortably; the wagon also enables children to overcome their physical limitations and achieve greater freedom.

The product looks and feels like a wagon, which provides great comfort to children and parents who are coping with the stress associated with medical treatment. Unfortunately, the supplier of the base wagon is no longer offering the model that she retrofits, which is where CSU’s research comes in.

"My 3-year-old son Sam was born with a rare bone marrow disorder called Diamond Blackfan Anemia, which has resulted in frequent visits to children’s hospitals," Marchese said. "During these visits, we became familiar with the MedWagon product and the important role that it plays for families and caregivers alike."

"After meeting Dr. Marchese and the senior engineering students, I was so impressed with not only their level of expertise but also their genuine concern and enthusiasm for this project," Potter said. "MedWagon cannot adequately express our gratitude and how much we appreciate their efforts."

CSU students Wes Cravens and Jason Gott, members of the senior design team, are creating an integrated product design process to rebuild the wagons from the ground up. They will acquire customer data from patients, parents and caregivers with the goal to produce a detailed final design for Potter in mid-May.

Diamond Blackfan Anemia is an inherited disorder shared by only 500 people in the United States whose bone marrow does not produce adequately functioning red blood cells. Marchese’s son Sam has been in good health since the family relocated to Fort Collins last year from the East Coast, Marchese said.