University of Leeds' Covid Breathing Aid
A device developed by UK hospitals provides critical care for Covid-19 patients.
19:14 25 August 2021
A Covid breathing aid has been developed by a team of engineers, doctors and scientists from the University of Leeds, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Medical Aid International and the Mengo Hospital in Uganda.
The device provides a form of oxygen therapy for Covid patients with moderate to severe symptoms. In the paper published in the journal Frontiers in Medical Technology, the team behind the device said that it "can be used safely without inducing hypoxia (low levels of oxygen in tissues) or hypercapnia (build-up of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream) and that its use was well tolerated by users, with no adverse events reported”.
The researchers confirmed that the device was designed around the principles of "frugal innovation" to meet clinical demands in poorer-resourced health settings.
Nikil Kapur, Professor of Applied Fluid Dynamics at the University of Leeds and the supervising academic on the project, said: “By adopting the approach of frugal innovation, we have been able to redesign an important piece of medical equipment so it can function effectively in poorer resourced healthcare settings.
“We have stripped away unnecessary complexity and ensured the device will work in settings where oxygen supplies are scarce and need to be conserved. The prototype is an important step in developing a device that will create greater access to critical-care technology and help save lives.”