DRDO’s supplemental Oxygen delivery system, a boon in current COVID-19 pandemic

New Delhi : A SpO2 (Blood Oxygen Saturation) based supplemental Oxygen delivery system, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), for necessary oxygen supply system at extremely high altitude areas can be a boon for current Covid19 pandemic, as it will help many Coronavirus critical patients to maintain oxygen level.

Originally designed for preventing soldiers at extremely high altitudes from Hypoxia, this system can be used by the hospitals treating Covid 19 patients, an official in the Defence research body said.

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 a leading factor in the current crisis.

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 while the oxygen is delivered from a lightweight portable oxygen cylinder through nasal nares.

The system is available in various sizes from one litre and one kg weight with 150 litres of oxygen supply to 10 litres and 10 kg weight with 1,500 litres of oxygen supply which can sustain for 750 minutes with a continuous flow of two liters per min (lpm).

“The system is a boon in the current pandemic as it can be used in the household for moderate Covid patients for Oxygen flow therapy with flow controlled at 2/5/7/10 lpm flow whereas the automatic usage has huge advantage in the household, as the oximeter would give an alarm for lower SpO2 value”, a DRDO’s scientist said.

With its 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 economising the oxygen supply (1-10 lpm with ±0.5 lpm). A moderate Covid patient requires longtime moderate O2 supply 10Litre/150bar–10kg–1500 litres 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 medical resources are stretched to their limits. Its proliferation would mitigate the crisis in management of such huge number of covid patients in many ways all across the country, the DRDO further said.

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