More ‘A’Cat Mayhem?

New resus guidelines for walking sticks required.

Dr Crippen’s favourite UK daily has an article today about walking sticks with sensors that can detect when they’re collapsed unconscious and then dial 999 and request an ambulance (has the Resus Council published guidelines on CPR for walking sticks yet?) – sorry, that should be when the owner has collapsed. It’ll be classified as an ‘A’ Category call of course: third party caller not with patient used to be the old CBD code.

If these [sensors] detect the stick is lying flat, a tiny microchip automatically plays a recorded message prompting the owner to pick it up. If the message is repeatedly ignored, the sensors send a signal to a computer which is programmed to call an ambulance.

The prototype stick has four legs and is similar to walking aids often used by the elderly. It has acceleration and tilt sensors that measure the speed and position of the stick…

An acceleration sensor -wow! Is that for how fast the owner is shuffling along or how rapidly they’re collapsing?

Our good friends at LAS are starting to get worried about their stats again.

A spokesman for the London Ambulance Service said it welcomed any new technology that helped the elderly get prompt treatment for falls. But he added: ‘Our worry would be that if patients don’t know how to use the technology, or it doesn’t work properly, we could end up with inappropriate calls.’

Maybe the scientist can apply this technology to beer bottles so we know when the scroats have fallen over on Saturday night!


5 Responses to More ‘A’Cat Mayhem?

  1. alex says:

    Ignoring, for a moment, the fact that ‘tiny microchips’ don’t play messages and ‘sensors’ don’t send signals (I like the Daily Mail, honestly), how many times out of 10 does the walking stick fall over with the casualty?

    Back in the day when I was in an old folks home, I seem to recall – more often than not – that when a resident had fallen over, the walking stick or zimmer frame was nowhere to be seen (or it was standing beside his/her chair or bed). Is that typical of your experiences or do you think this might actually help?

  2. ecparamedic says:

    Spot on Alex, there is usually a reason they fell over in the first place……….. leaving their stick behind while they nip to the loo would be favourite.

    I never cease to be amazed by some of our geriatric bungee-jumpers exploits but they rarely ever seem to include their walking aids in the fun and frolics.


  3. kingmagic says:

    I,ve also heard that they are going to introduce sensors into lightbulbs, so that when they blow….an ambulance is called.
    Also sensors into remote controls so that when they are out of reach….an ambulance is called.
    And sensors into curtains that will alert when they need opening/closing so therefore…an ambulance is called.
    The above are jobs that I,ve been called to!!!

  4. alex says:


    Of course.

    AMPDS: “Hello, Ambulance service.”
    Caller: “My light bulb’s blown.”
    AMPDS: “Is the casualty breathing normally?”
    Caller: “Erm.. I guess not…”
    Bam! Cat A.

  5. I am speechless. What is wrong with the world, that some boffins thought this was a good idea, eh?
    good god. Its the thin end of the wedge……

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