New Delhi. 19 April 2021, Being in the forefront ever to support the Indian Soldier in most difficult terrain and adverse circumstances, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed yet another system, which is of a great value not only to the Indian Army soldiers fighting in the Extreme High Altitudes Areas but also would be a boon to the country in this extreme crisis of Covid 19 pandemic.
The Defence Bio-Engineering & Electro Medical Laboratory (DEBEL), Bengaluru of DRDO has developed SpO2 (Blood Oxygen Saturation) supplemental Oxygen Delivery System for soldiers at extreme high altitudes. This automatic system delivers supplemental oxygen based on the SpO2 levels and prevents the person from sinking in to a state of Hypoxia, which is fatal in most cases, if sets in. Hypoxia is a state in which the amount of oxygen reaching the tissues is inadequate to fulfill all the energy requirements of the body. This is exactly the situation that gets replicated in a Covid patient due to the virus infection and has been leading to the current crisis.
The electronic hardware of the system is designed for functioning at extreme altitudes featuring low barometric pressures, low temperatures and humidity. The software safety checks incorporated into the system are critical in ensuring the functional reliability of the system in field conditions.
The system reads SpO2 levels of the subject from a wrist-worn pulse oximeter module through wireless interface and controls a proportional solenoid valve to regulate the oxygen supply to the subject. The oxygen is delivered from a lightweight portable oxygen cylinder through nasal nares. The system is available in various sizes from one liter and one Kg weight with 150 liters of Oxygen supply to 10 Liters & 10 Kg weight with 1500 Liters of Oxygen supply which can sustain for 750 minutes with a continuous flow of 2 Liters per min (lpm). Since the system is indigenously developed for operation in field conditions, it is unique with it’s dual qualities of robustness and cheap and is already in bulk production with industry.
The system is a boon in the current pandemic as the same can be used in the household for moderate Covid patients for Oxygen flow therapy with flow controlled at 2/5/7/10 lpm flow. The automatic usage has huge advantage in the household, as the oximeter would give an Alarm for Lower SpO2 value. It will automatically increase/decrease the O2 flow based on SpO2 setting which can be auto adjusted at 2,5,7,10 lpm flow rate. The optimal O2 flow rate conserves the O2 resources/O2 management and greatly increases the endurance.
With it’s availability and simple to use facility by a common person, the system shall greatly reduce the workload and exposure time of Doctors and Paramedics to monitor the SpO2 levels of the patient. The automated Calibrated Variable Flow Control for Low O2 levels (User pre-set,<90%,<80%) through a calibrated Flow Control Valve (PFCV) will facilitate in economizing the oxygen supply (1-10Lpm with ±0.5Lpm). A moderate Covid patient requires longtime moderate O2 supply 10Litre/150bar–10kg–1500 Liters which can sustain up to 750 minutes.
This automated, easy to use Oxygen Delivery System now available is a great boon particularly in these critical times when every medical resource is stretched to it’s ebb. It’s proliferation would mitigate the crisis in management of such huge number of covid patients in many ways all across the country.