Replacements for amputated hands

Project  / Project number: WM18-25  /  Status:


Bayonet fitting for Hand Implement

The challenge

The loss of both hands meant that the lady had no hand function and was totally reliant on others to feed, write and many other things.  Whilst there are many prosthetic hands under development, there are not immediately available on the NHS.  There is also an initial period following amputation where it is necessary for the arm stumps to stabilise.

The NHS Occupational Therapists dealing with the lady’s condition had identified that a Remap Panel, probably the Stafford one, had previously made a range of implements for a similar case.  Each implement was mounted on a silicon sleeve with a tapped pad on its end.  This required a number of expensive sleeves which the client had to remove and replace for each action. Financial constraints meant that this approach was not realistic today.The alternative required a carer to mount and dismount each implement from a single sleeve.

The solution

It was decided that an alternative approach would be to develop a lightweight bayonet fitting based on a standard airline fitting.  This was manufactured using conventional machining techniques in a black acetal plastic.  A positive location was achieved by incorporating a compression spring that could be adjusted to a loading acceptable to the user.

The individual implements were each mounted on a spigot that would clip into the bayonet fitting permanently mounted on a single sleeve.

The benefit

The lady has regained some hand functionality where none existed before. She may ultimately acquire a more sophisticated prosthetic hand but this will not be the case until they have been fully developed and made available to the NHS at an economic price.

The ability to feed herself and to write birthday and Christmas cards was an immediate benefit to the Client

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