A high-value, low-cost bubble continuous positive airway pressure system for low-resource settings: technical assessment and initial case reports

Jocelyn Brown, Heather Machen, Kondwani Kawaza, Zondiwe Mwanza, Suzanne Iniguez, Hans Lang, Alfred Gest, Neil Kennedy, Robert Miros, Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Elizabeth Molyneux, Maria Oden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Acute respiratory infections are the leading cause of global child mortality. In the developing world, nasal oxygen therapy is often the only treatment option for babies who are suffering from respiratory distress. Without the added pressure of bubble Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (bCPAP) which helps maintain alveoli open, babies struggle to breathe and can suffer serious complications, and frequently death. A stand-alone bCPAP device can cost $6,000, too expensive for most developing world hospitals. Here, we describe the design and technical evaluation of a new, rugged bCPAP system that can be made in small volume for a cost-of-goods of approximately $350. Moreover, because of its simple design--consumer-grade pumps, medical tubing, and regulators--it requires only the simple replacement of a <$1 diaphragm approximately every 2 years for maintenance. The low-cost bCPAP device delivers pressure and flow equivalent to those of a reference bCPAP system used in the developed world. We describe the initial clinical cases of a child with bronchiolitis and a neonate with respiratory distress who were treated successfully with the new bCPAP device.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e53622
JournalPloS one
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Acute Disease
  • Bronchiolitis
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure
  • Developing Countries
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Oxygen Inhalation Therapy
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn
  • Treatment Outcome

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