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South African invention revolutionises oxygen delivery to Covid-19 patients

11 January 2021 6:57 PM

"I have witnessed this device saving lives," says Dr Warren Gregorowski of the proudly South African device.

A group of doctors, engineers and entrepreneurs from East London have designed a device that revolutionises oxygen delivery to Covid-19 patients.

The simple invention (“Oxygen-Efficient Respiratory Aid”) is portable and cost-effective.

The OxERA is especially useful where there are many patients yet few skilled staff, inadequate ICU or high care facilities and insufficient bulk oxygen supplies.

© sudok1/123rf.com

The device draws inspiration from scuba diving equipment and used 3D printing in its design.

“The high oxygen level delivered by the device ensures that maximum oxygen content is available to diseased lungs,” said Dr Craig Parker, a medical officer working in anaesthetics with a background in mechanical engineering.

“The valve on the device maintains slight pressure to prevent the 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.

“It allows even the most basic facilities, which are dependent on bottled oxygen or small oxygen concentrators, to provide a higher level of care than they are currently able to.”

Hundreds of OxERAs have already been distributed to 25 hospitals across South Africa.

“Their baseline oxygen saturations were all horrific and terrifying even to the point of 20%,” said Dr Carolyn Mason, an East London public hospital physician.

“What was so amazing was to see the saturation improve to 90% and to eventually even successfully discharge these patients was a blessing as they would not have survived.”

“I have witnessed this device saving lives,” concurred Dr Warren Gregorowski of Frere Hospital in East London.

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed Reiner Gabler, MD at specialist medical device manufacturing firm Gabler Medical.

We can produce over 15 000 units a week, so capacity is not an issue. This will definitely create jobs during the pandemic and, if the product achieves general acceptance, also after the pandemic. The device holds export potential too.

Reiner Gabler, MD - Gabler Medical

It has similar results to more oxygen hungry methods… It doesn’t require any mechanical equipment. It’s a simple, disposable system…

Reiner Gabler, MD - Gabler Medical

Listen to the interview in the audio below.




11 January 2021 6:57 PM

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