Sunday, January 14, 2007

Artificial Lungs on the Go

On the left, a traditional mechanical ventilator. (~$6K+, no chance it will get to a village gurney). On the right, Germany's Novalung, a passive gas membrane Intervententional Lung Assist device that can supply the body with oxygen and necessary CO2 removal. We like the fact that it doesn't require moving parts, and blood flow is powered by the patient's own heartbeat. The Novalung has seen service in Europe and notably at the Balad Theatre Hospital in Iraq. No power requirements, the size of about 5 CD cases stacked togethor, and no moving parts makes this an excellent field medicine tool. No word on pricing, but we would love to see these coming to a village hospital near you.

More from Stars and Stripes


Offbeat: What if they made a smaller model that you can hook up to your arm to give you that extra boost of oxigen? Nevermind that it's not FDA approved (thankfully, the brave soldier whose life it saved was in Europe where it had a CE mark). Nonetheless, I can see athletic organizations cracking down on "portable lung assist cheaters" hidden inside their iPods. I'm not a physician, so I get to daydream.

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