Breathing tube helps premature babies
Sat, 06 Oct 2012 6:07p.m.
By Susie Nordqvist
A device that helps premature babies to breathe has taken out one of the top prizes at the Best Design Awards ceremony in Auckland.
Fisher & Paykel's breathing tube is made here, but it's helping babies all over the world.
Neko Davis is among 5000 babies who are born premature in New Zealand every year. That's about 8 percent of all births.
Many of them have breathing problems, but this new device is helping them recover faster.
“It's designed to deliver humidified oxygen to babies and it does it through these nasal prongs, which go in the baby’s nose,” says Laurence Gulliver, product development manager at Fisher & Paykel.
Breathing tubes aren't new. But Fisher & Paykel Healthcare says this is the first time one has been designed specifically for babies.
“Everything else has just been designed for adults and scaled down,” says Mr Gulliver.
Similar products are less user friendly and take longer to apply.
“The original prongs were quite rigid and you could twist them, so they didn't sit as stable on the face,” says Mr Gulliver. “The main benefit here is we have these very soft-touch anatomically shaped prongs, which are much more comfortable to sit in a babies nose. This tube is very flexible, which means it can be put wherever you like and it doesn't get in the way.”
Auckland Hospital was one of four New Zealand hospitals to trial the new technology. It's now among 200 hospitals using it worldwide.
“There are a lot of babies who are born prematurely and require respiratory support for some time,” says Dr Malcolm Battin of Auckland Hospital Newborn Unit. “If we can do that in a way that is comfortable and easy for the babies to tolerate and allows things like feeding to take place, then it's a step forward compared to the old CPAP respiratory support.”
But while the product was designed and manufactured in New Zealand, it's proving to be more of a hit overseas. More than 99 percent of the products are being exported.
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13/10/2012 8:51:13 a.m.
Jason Scheirlinck wrote:
3 News - Are you able to say the name of the product? I would think that an amazing product like this should be publicised!
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