Validation and Introduction of a Low-Cost Bubble Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Kit and Oxygen Blender for Neonates

Organization Location: 
Seattle, WA, USA

Respiratory distress syndrome affects roughly 1 million neonates each year and is almost always fatal without effective treatment. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is the standard of care for treatment of neonatal respiratory distress, but the availability of CPAP devices is limited by cost and facility infrastructure such as electricity and pressurized air. The bubble CPAP (bCPAP) kit and oxygen blender address the lack of electricity and pressurized air, common in rural health clinics, and have been demonstrated to provide a stable supply of blended gas. Our proposed work will further address this gap by collaborating with local distributors of hospital supplies to sell inexpensive, preassembled kits to hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies. A robust strategy for introduction of the bCPAP kit and oxygen blender in targeted areas can boost uptake globally. CPAP devices are a proven technology that health care providers will use if available. It has been reported that neonates often receive 100 percent oxygen in some health care settings and it has been demonstrated that a safe blend of gas can reduce morbidity and mortality. Projected to be at a fraction of the price of any option on the market today, the kit and blender have the potential to widen access and increase health impact. Our target retail price for the blender is US$2 and the kit (including the blender) is less than US$20.

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