How F1 pit stops can save newborn lives

How F1 pit stops can save newborn lives

A British hospital is using Formula 1 pit stops to save the lives of babies born with complications.

Pit stops can mean victory and defeat, and that has been truer than ever in the last years of Formula 1. It was also important before, but not so much, because mechanics had 8-10 seconds to complete their work, what it took to fill the tank with gasoline.

10 seconds to change four wheels was more than enough for the trained mechanics, and they had plenty of time to make small adjustments or changes to the car. in 2010 the FIA ​​banned refueling and reduced the number of people who could be around the car, the thing changed.

Williams, the team that gets the fastest Formula 1 pit stops

Suddenly, the determining factor at the stop was the mechanics who changed the wheels, and the less time it took, the more advantage the pilot would have. Without refueling, the stops immediately dropped to 4 seconds, then to 3, and in recent seasons the best teams They are going down just over two seconds, thanks to a training of 2,000 annual stops.

This season 2016 the dominant team in the pits is turning out to be Williams, getting the prize for the fastest stop in the four races we have; In China, Felipe Massa’s stop was just 2.10 seconds. The mechanics are so fast that they are catching the drivers themselves by surprise., people who make a living by being the fastest on the planet.

Applying a racing philosophy to emergencies

At Wales University Hospital they understood that behind these stops was an exceptional job of coordination that they needed in their own ranks. Specifically, they realized that sometimes his job looked a lot like a pit stop, as in the resuscitation of a newborn who has undergone cardiorespiratory arrest.

In those critical moments, a second of a second can save the baby’s lifeTherefore, the hospital contacted the Williams team to share their experience.

In this way, the Williams team focused on improving three key aspects. He started with something as basic as the stretcher or wheelbarrow, removing unnecessary tools and objects and improving access to the equipment that the medical team would really need, in the same way that the mechanic only has at his disposal the absolutely necessary tools to change the wheel, and everything considered additional is kept in the garage and is removed only if required.

Each mechanic has a small space compared to the car in which he can maneuver without disturbing the rest, and Williams recommended create a floor map so staff knew where to stand exactly.

Finally there was the most difficult, group mechanics. Each member has to know the exact role they have to fulfill, and communicate efficiently. To do this, Williams I recommended the use of gestures instead of speaking, and presented a video analysis of their stops to demonstrate this mechanic.

Hospital staff believe it is too early to know whether the application of these techniques will save lives, but it has been a welcome change.

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