Page 13 - EngineerIt January 2021
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        Efficient oxygen use
        The overwhelming need of COVID-19
        pneumonia patients is oxygen, says Dr
        Parker. “The high oxygen level delivered
        by the device ensures that maximum
        oxygen content is available to diseased
        lungs. The valve on the device maintains
        slight pressure to prevent lungs from
        collapsing when the patient breathes out,
        and reduces the amount of work it takes
        to breathe.
           Furthermore, as oxygen supply can
        be adjusted to patient demand, less
        oxygen is usually required. In our oxygen
        resource-constrained environment this is
        a game changer.
                                             Lead doctor: Dr Craig Parker, a medical  Project manager: Trevor Rossouw, a
           It allows even the most basic
                                             officer working in anaesthetics with a  civil engineer with a background in
        facilities, which are dependent on bottled  background in mechanical engineering.  project and business management.
        oxygen or small oxygen concentrators, to
        provide a higher level of care than they
        are currently able to.”                vouch for their utility in these unprecedented times.”
                                             •  Dr Carolyn Mason, a specialist physician in internal medicine in East London in the
        Field testing                          state sector, has personally used over 40 devices, mainly selecting patients aged 40
        The device has been used successfully  to 70 years who, due to comorbidities, would not have been ICU candidates. “Their
        in environments ranging from rural     baseline oxygen saturations were all horrific and terrifying even to the point of 20%.
        clinics to specialist hospitals, and by all  What was so amazing for me as a health care professional was to see the saturation
        levels of staff.                       improve to 90% and to eventually successfully discharge these patients; this was a
           Hundreds of OxERAs have already     blessing as they would not have survived.”
        been distributed to 25 hospitals from  •  Dr Warren Gregorowski, working in Internal Medicine at Frere Hospital in East
        Cape Town to Pretoria, says Umoya      London, says: “The device is very simple to assemble and user friendly. I have
        Project Manager Trevor Rossouw, a civil  witnessed this device saving lives and I think that it could be used to great effect in
        engineer with a background in project  hospitals throughout South Africa.”
        and business management. These
        include the Volkswagen COVID-19 field  The device is SAHPRA-approved for use during the COVID-19 emergency period. Interest
        hospital, Frere and Cecilia Makiwane  in the device should gather momentum as clinical trials are being arranged at Chris Hani
        Hospitals and many of the academic   Baragwaneth Academic Hospital which offers specialist services to referred patients.   n
        hospitals in the country.
           Many rural hospitals such as Zithulele  OxERA devices are available through Gabler Medical:
        on the Wild Coast and Madwaleni near
        Elliotdale have benefited from the
        devices. They have also been used by
        GPs for home and clinic treatment.
        Devices have also been distributed as
        far as Zimbabwe, DRC and the Central
        African Republic.

        Medical personnel who have seen and
        tested the device have been impressed
        by its simplicity of use, oxygen efficiency
        and clinical effectiveness.
        •  Dr Michael Webb, a physician
           working in private practice in
           East London, has treated
           COVID-19 patients since the
           initial outbreak. He bought 10
           masks on 24 December and by
           1 January had treated a number
           of patients using them. “I am
           personally very grateful to have  ISO13485 certification: Reiner Gabler, MD of long-established Gabler Medical, which will
           access to these masks and can     manufacture and distribute the device, with the unit.

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