Help for Children —
Cough is also a fundamental feature of lung defense. It is critical in maintaining the patency of our airway system by propelling secretions out of the lung. The absence of cough destines an individual to retained secretions, bronchitis, and pneumonia. Children with a high cough threshold who fail to effectively and consistently move secretions out of their lungs are prone to pneumonia. Methods to promote cough in such individuals include nebulizing bronchodilators, bronchial drainage and mechanically trying to stimulate cough by thrusting a suction catheter down the nose, past the throat and irritating the voice box. These methods are less than effective and indeed, somewhat medieval.
There is a hypothesis that a cough provoking or so called “tussive” agent can be used therapeutically to elicit effective coughs from individuals with a high cough threshold. In contemplating the use of this agent in a clinical setting we would need to minimize any exposure to either the patient’s eyes or the patient’s providers. Presently, inhalational drugs are delivered through relatively open masks and there is no product to prevent ambient exposure. So in essence, a therapeutic agent may exist that could radically help many children but currently cannot be studied due to the lack of an appropriate delivery device. We Can Do Better…
Hope for Families —
This project is focused on developing a nebulizer mask system that will filter all exhaled gases as well as extra gases generated from the nebulizer that are not inhaled. In addition, the system must present full contact for the full circumference of the mask to not allow any gas escaping through any means other than the filter.
The main features of this product include:
- Custom mask component, designed to fit securely to children’s faces
- Effective filter component to contain all excess chemicals
Current Activities Include:
- Customizing mask fit
- Final testing of seal performance
- Final testing of filter performance
- Regulatory Plan
- Project identified and supported through Children’s Hospital of Minnesota
- Fall 2009, Senior Design Project initiated with University of Minnesota Mechanical Engineering