Life without limbs: Technology to the rescue

Journal article

Cooke, Deirdre M., Ames, Matthew and Geffen, Saul. (2016) Life without limbs: Technology to the rescue. Prosthetics and Orthotics International.
AuthorsCooke, Deirdre M., Ames, Matthew and Geffen, Saul

Background: This article reports a rare and inspirational case of a four-limb amputee, the range of integrated technology solutions that enable him to be a productive member of his family and the process and pitfalls of seeking technology solutions. Case description and methods: A complex case of bilateral transhumeral amputation and bilateral transfemoral amputation with residual upper limbs too short to oppose is presented. The multiple ‘high-tech’ and ‘low-tech’ devices used on a daily basis to move around his house and community, control his environment, communicate and feed himself without the use of limbs, prostheses or a second person are outlined. Findings and outcomes: Recent advances in electronics, computing and telecommunications technologies provide him with capabilities not possible 10 years ago. Conclusion: The process and pitfalls in sourcing technology solutions and the innovative solutions to meet the unique functional needs of this individual provide guidance to those with similarly severe and profound limitations to independence. Clinical relevance: Descriptions of technology solutions to improve independent functioning of those with quadruple amputation without prostheses as well as those with high-level spinal cord injury are of value to occupational therapists, patients and families alike.

Keywordsbilateral upper limb amputation; quadruple amputee; environmental controls; quadrilateral amputation
JournalProsthetics and Orthotics International
PublisherSage Publications Ltd.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Research GroupSchool of Allied Health
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
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