The OxERA device arose as a by-product of our BiPAP prototype system and has now evolved into a separate stand-alone device that has proven remarkably effective at treating COVID-19 pneumonia.
We have found that the overwhelming need of COVID-19 pneumonia patients is oxygen. In very sick patients, this typically needs to be 100%O2. The differences in blood O2 saturation level are often dramatic when escalating to higher percentage oxygen solutions. Most hospitals are limited to standard non-rebreather masks as the ceiling of their care outside of the ICU and these are typically set at a maximum oxygen feed of 15l/min via standard wall oxygen feed. Out of desperation, some facilities are adding nasal prongs underneath the mask to try and increase the available oxygen which may prove helpful for some patients. This unfortunately ties up two precious oxygen ports and increases consumption which is often not possible in the most constrained facilities. CPAP/BiPAP and high flow nasal oxygen units that have been much talked about in the media require much higher volumes in the 50-60l/min category to supply adequate oxygen concentrations. Ventilators require similar oxygen volumes but are also limited to the few ICU beds available. In an oxygen constrained environment this is of great concern.
The innovative OxERA device is an all-in-one device using an oxygen accumulator bag, anaesthetic mask and an adjustable mechanical peep valve that is simple, cost effective and oxygen efficient. Tests have shown that not only can consistently high levels of oxygen be delivered with the critical benefit of PEEP, but less oxygen is usually needed as supply can be titrated to patient demand rather than having to be left fully open. The high oxygen level ensures that maximum oxygen content is available to the diseased lungs and the PEEP prevents lungs collapsing during expiration and reduces the amount of work it takes to breathe. In our oxygen resource constrained environment this is a game changer and allows even the most basic facilities that are dependent on bottled oxygen or small oxygen concentrators to provide a higher level of clinical care than they are currently able to. It also means that the device is suitable for use in transferring patients in ambulances where other options are limited.
Now approved by SAHPRA for use in COVID-19 we are excited to bring this simple innovative device to the market.
It comprises a main housing, incorporating the adjustable PEEP (5 – 20 cm H2O), anti-asphyxiation valve (for safety) and oxygen supply via a hose and accumulator bag.
Commercial medical devices such as an anaesthetic mask and viral filter are added to complete the device. All components, other than the filter, are re-usable in an emergency if suitably sterilised.