Making life a little easier
Bright colours, a toy tray and a sprout of leaves might be out of place in most hospitals but a new device built with children in mind is about to make Starship hospital just a little bit brighter.
The Sprout IV pole, designed by AUT University post-graduate student Neerali Parbhu, herself a former Starship patient, is expected to redefine the way child patients interact with the crucial piece of equipment used for delivering intravenous fluids and medicines.
No longer will children struggle to manoeuvre clunky adult IV poles through doors and corridors, or be intimidated by scary-looking medical equipment, Miss Parbhu says.
She spent about a year in hospital as a child with a germ-cell tumour and has been involved with the Child Cancer Foundation since.
The IV pole is a way of ‘‘connecting my passion for helping these children with my passion for design – it’s a very constructive way of making change,’’ she says.
Miss Parbhu says the design is yet to be finalised but a few aspects, such as a toy tray at the base, curved pole and sprout of leaves at the top are likely to make the final design.
‘‘It is a child-friendly object. It is child-sized and much more friendly for the child to be with as opposed to the original designs.’’
The project has been made possible by a new relationship between Starship, AUT, the Starship Foundation and Mercury Energy and the poles will be used at Starship before hopefully being adopted by other hospitals, Miss Parbhu says.
Starship director of child health Dr Richard Aickin says the pole will improve the experience for children while in hospital.
‘‘Well-designed equipment like the Sprout IV Pole can be less scarylooking for children, while still meeting our clinical needs.
‘‘We expect it to reduce stress and add a more playful feel to children’s immediate surroundings in hospital.’’
Miss Parbhu hopes to test the product on children within the next month.
The final product is likely to be in hospitals in the next year.