The number of people affected by COVID-19 in India, is increasing by the day, and there is a valid fear that those on the frontlines are falling short of medical equipment and personnel.
Taking cognisance of this issue, the Indian Navy has pitched in with its innovative device that allows one oxygen cylinder to be used for up to 12 patients!
Speaking to The Better India, Captain CG Raju, a PR officer with the Eastern Naval Command (ENC), Visakhapatnam, said, “Hospitals can have a bank of oxygen cylinders that operates as a centralised AC. But when we need to make special arrangements in schools or other such areas for patients, oxygen needs to be supplied to patients individually. A team at the Naval Dockyard has designed and manufactured a device that allows a supply of oxygen from one cylinder to up to 12 patients.”
Named the Portable Multi-feed Oxygen Manifold (MOM), this is a 6-way radial header that fits into one cylinder and is connected to six different distribution forces (one force for one patient each).
Why do COVID-19 patients require artificial oxygen supply?
One in six patients of COVID-19 can develop serious breathing difficulties. In even more severe cases, the Coronavirus can damage a patient’s lungs, and once the body detects this, it expands blood vessels to let immune cells in.
This expansion can also cause fluids to enter your lungs and make breathing difficult, consequently reducing oxygen supply in your body. In this situation, an artificial supply of oxygen through ventilators becomes crucial.
The device can prove to be a much-needed innovation in case we reach a stage where many patients with severe COVID-19 infection need to be admitted in a make-shift medical ward.
A statement issued by them says, “During the ongoing pandemic, ventilator support will be required for about 5-8% of patients with symptoms whereas a large number would require oxygen support. The existing facilities are not adequate to cater for such large requirements. A need was therefore felt to design a suitable portable arrangement that could provide oxygen through masks to a number of needy patients using a single-cylinder during emergencies which is the need of the hour.“
About the device designed by the Indian Navy:
Preliminary trials of entire assembly was conducted at Naval Dockyard, Vizag, #EasternNavalCommand.
— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) March 30, 2020
One portable MOM is a 6-way radial heater that uses one oxygen cylinder to benefit six patients concurrently.
“The preliminary trials of the entire assembly were conducted at Medical Inspection (MI) Room at Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam which was followed by rapid trials at the Naval Hospital INHS Kalyani wherein the portable MOM was successfully set up within 30 minutes,” says the Indian Navy statement.
After the success of MOM, the team has gone ahead to develop two 6-way radial headers that can simultaneously benefit 12 patients.
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“Their trial at INHS Kalyani has been successful. The team is now manufacturing ten such units that can benefit 120 patients at a time,” Capt Raju shares with TBI.
These devices may be used in the Quarantine Camp set up in the ENC, for Indian nationals, being evacuated from COVID-19 affected countries, that at the moment, can accommodate 200 individuals.
“The evacuated personnel in the camp will be closely monitored to ensure Social Distancing and under medical supervision in accordance with the protocols laid down by the Department of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India by a team of naval personnel and medical professionals of ENC,” says the Navy.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)