DRDO develops complementary oxygen delivery system, can be a boon for Covid patients

New Delhi: A device developed by the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) for the use of soldiers will now work for Covid-19 patients who require medical assistance.

The DRDO said on Monday that being the forefront of supporting the Indian soldier in the toughest terrain and adverse conditions, the Defense Research and Development Organization has now developed another system, which is not only for high-altitude Indian soldiers. But in this extreme crisis of Covid-19 pandemic, it will prove to be a boon for the country.

The Defense Bio-Engineering and Electro Medical Laboratory (DEBEL), Bengaluru of DRDO has developed a SpO2 (Blood Oxygen Saturation) supplemental oxygen delivery system for soldiers at extremely high altitudes. This automated system distributes supplemental oxygen based on SpO2 levels and prevents the individual from going into a state of hypoxia, which is fatal in most cases.

DRDO explained that hypoxia is a condition in which the amount of oxygen reaching the tissues is insufficient to meet all the body’s energy needs. This is precisely the situation that is repeated in the Covid patient due to virus infection and leads to the current crisis.

The system’s electronic hardware is designed to operate at extreme altitudes characterized by low barometer pressure, low temperature, and humidity. Software security checks included in the system are important in ensuring the system’s functional reliability in field conditions.

The system reads the subject’s SpO2 levels from the wrist-worn pulse oximeter module via a wireless interface and controls a proportional solenoid valve to regulate the oxygen supply to the subject.

Oxygen is delivered through nasal holes from a lightweight portable oxygen cylinder. The system is available in various sizes with a supply of 150 liters of oxygen with a weight of one liter and one kilogram with a supply of 10 liters and 1500 liters of oxygen with a supply of 1500 liters of oxygen. Can last up to 750 minutes with flow.

Since the system is indigenously developed to operate in field conditions, it is unique with the dual qualities of robustness and cheapness and is already in bulk production with the industry.

The DRDO stated that the system is a boon in the current pandemic, as it can be used for oxygen flow therapy for moderate covid patients in the home with controlled flow at 2/5/7/10 LPM flow.

Auto-use in home use has major advantages, as the oximeter will give an alarm for the lower SpO2 value. This will automatically increase or decrease O2 flow depending on the SpO2 setting which can be automatically adjusted at a flow rate from 2,5,7,10.

With its availability and simplicity for a common person to use the facility, the system will greatly reduce the workload and exposure time of doctors and paramedics to monitor a patient’s SpO2 levels.

Automatic calibrated variable flow control via a calibrated flow control valve (PFCV) for low O2 levels (user pre-set, <90%, <80%) will facilitate reduced oxygen supply. A moderate Covid patient requires a prolonged medium O2 supply of 10Litre / 150bar – 10kg – 1500 liters which can last up to 750 minutes.

(With agency inputs)

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