Metal Cable Reel Holders

Cable reel holders designed and manufactured for East Midlands Ambulance Service

EMAS Lifepak Cable Reel Holder Prototype

We are pleased to include the East Midlands Ambulance service NHS trust as one of our valued and regular customers. Together with many other Ambulance service trusts we supply East Midlands with Controlled drugs cabinets. We also supply medicine cabinets both from stock and bespoke cabinets to suit their specific requirements.

When we were approached by the trust earlier in the year and they told us they had a problem with their LIFEPAK monitor units we were happy to help.

The LIFEPAK unit is a system used by East Midlands Ambulance service crews on their vehicles. The system allows Ambulance crews to monitor the vital signs of their patients.

These vital signs are obtained using a 2m long lead from the LIFEPAK which is attached to the patient. However, with regular use the lead was sustaining wear damage. The constant pulling out and replacing all the lead each time it was needed was damaging the cable. They were looking for a purpose manufactured set of cable reel holders to prevent breakages.

Cable Reel Holder Design Brief

We received a brief from the customer. This was to provide a simple and economical system to prevent damage to the cable when in use.

Pooling our combined expertise in product design and product manufacture we swiftly developed a solution which could be presented to the client. Our in-house laser cutting and powder coating facilities used in the manufacture of our Controlled drugs cabinets enabled us to quickly manufacture and finish a sample prototype unit. With this we could properly demonstrate our proposal to the client.

The basic principle of the idea was to prevent the crew from having to use all the cable each time they needed to use the LIFEPAK. Depending on where the patient was situated in the ambulance all the cable may not have to be used. If for instance that patient was mobile they would be able to be seated close to the unit and therefor only a short piece of cable would be required. When the patient was laying on the couch then it may be necessary to use all the cable. To overcome this, we manufactured from laser cut sheet metal two profiles which when welded together formed a framework around which the unused cable could be stored. This allowed for an easy and comfortable grip for the operator and kept the unused cable safe from damage.

Consideration was given to manufacture in plastic but the relatively small quantity (around 300 units) meant plastic would not be cost effective due to the initial tooling cost.

Case studies - cable reel holder


The prototype cable heel holder was given to East Midlands Ambulance service NHS trust crews for several days of on the job trials.

Following this initial trial, the comments of crews were taken into account and a second prototype manufactured and sent for a second trial.

The second prototype was accepted and initial order placed for 200 units by East Midlands Ambulance service NHS trust.

Subsequently several other orders have been raised for this unit which has been rolled out over the East Midlands area vehicles.

Significant cost savings have been made by East Midlands Ambulance service NHS trust after adopting this method of cable management.

The cost of a new replacement cable for the LIFEPAK units is around £80. Previously the cables we understand were being replaced sometimes two or three time per year. With the new cable management in place costing less than £ 10 this should eliminate damage and remove the need to replace the cable. Savings for using this simple modification across the trust therefor will be quite considerable. Money which can now be diverted to direct patient care.

Cable reel holder
Cable reel holder