Friday, October 5, 2007

The Tongue Sucker

‘Tongue Sucker’ which received the first prize from INDEX Awards in the ‘Work’ category is an amazing life saving device. It is designed by a team of four design students from Imperial College and Royal College of Art after the London catastrophe in 2005. The research done by them reveals that a person in dearth of oxygen can die or suffer brain damage in four minutes. When a person gets unconscious, there is a tendency for the person’s tongue to fall back on the throat covering the trachea. There are chances of death by suffocation due to blocked trachea.

The tongue sucker consists of a round red-colored suction bulb made of rubber along with a tube. To use the device the rescuer has to squeeze the bulb, place it over the tongue to the unconscious person and then release the bulb. The bulb sucks the tongue of the victim in the tube facilitating free airway. The red bulb which remains outside the mouth is distinctly visible to the paramedics such that they can reach for help.

The user research conducted by the design team validated that one size of this device fits all the age groups of causalities.

This simple device is economical and can be used by untrained people by reading the instructions on the packaging.

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