Augmented Infant Resuscitator (AIR)

Mbarara University of Science and Technology
Organization Location: 
Mbarara, Uganda

Globally 814,000 neonatal deaths result from intrapartum birth asphyxia in term babies and 1.03 million from complications of prematurity (WHO/ UNICEF 2010). Effective resuscitation could reduce intrapartum related neonatal deaths by 30%, and deaths from prematurity by 10%, creating potential to save 347,200 babies annually. However, one in five trained healthcare professionals (HCPs) fail to perform the resuscitation technique correctly, and those that do, often experience a rapid decline in proficiency (Patel J et al 2012). Clinical trials to gauge the effectiveness of newborn resuscitation continue to yield inconsistent results ranging from no effect in India to some reduction in asphyxia related mortality in Tanzania. Our Augmented Infant Resuscitator's advanced training capabilities, instant feedback mechanism, and objective self-audit and retraining abilities will maximize and sustain gains from effective resuscitation. The AIR prototype provides instant feedback to users about effective ventilation. This is measured using inexpensive instrumentation that calculates ventilation rate, air volume and air pressure delivered by the bag-valve-mask (BVM) across the resuscitation face-mask. These parameters correlate with the four most common mistakes that result in ineffective resuscitation: 1) Failed seal at the face-mask interface resulting in failure to inflate the lungs; 2) Blocked airways; and 3) Wrong ventilation frequency 4) Insufficient/shallow lung inflation. Each of these mistakes can cause death or brain damage. AIR also records performance on an internal memory card for future feedback, improving HCPs training by identifying persistent gaps in technique.

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