Stories about: mechanical ventilation

Three child-focused products to compete at Boston Children’s Hospital Innovation Tank

The creators of a powered arm brace, a device to aid newborn resuscitation and a platform for virtual nutritional consults have been chosen to present at Boston Children’s Hospital’s second annual pitch competition—otherwise known as the Innovation Tank—during the hospital’s Global Pediatric Innovation Summit + Awards 2015.

Augmented Infant Resuscitator Myomo Kindrdfood

Presented by the health care company Philips, the November 9 competition will be hosted by Troy Carter, founder and CEO of the entertainment company Atom Factory (managing Lady Gaga, among others) and newly named guest shark on ABC’s Shark Tank.

A la Shark Tank, each team will pitch its health care innovation to a panel of venture capitalists, clinicians and industry leaders, who will decide how to award $30,000 in sponsored prize money and offer advice on how to advance projects to market.

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How Skype and FaceTime inspired remote care for home-ventilated patients

Casavant telemedicine home ventilationFrom a series on researchers and innovators at Boston Children’s Hospital. At left, David Casavant demos TeleCAPE at a Boston Children’s Hospital Innovators Showcase.

It is said that necessity is the mother of invention, so when David Casavant, MD, observed his teenagers routinely using FaceTime and Skype to connect with friends, he had a lightbulb moment. Could videoconferencing help him support his patients—children and young adults who require mechanical ventilation in their homes?

“It just seemed obvious,” says Casavant, a physician in the Boston Children’s Hospital’s CAPE (Critical Care, Anesthesia and Perioperative Extension & Home Ventilation) program, part of the Division of Critical Care Medicine. “In my work we are always weighing the risk versus the benefit to the patient. It’s easy for ambulatory patients to swing by their primary care office, get a prescription or go for an x-ray, but that’s not the case for patients who have to have their oxygen, their suction or their ventilator. If you don’t have to put them on the road you are better off not to.”

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Peeking into the black box of lung ventilation

As the lungs expand, the glow blue in this movie made using EIT; areas that are underinflated appear red.
Can we monitor a child's lungs when they're on a ventilator without actually taking a picture? Yes, with a technology called EIT; click the image above to see for yourself. (Courtesy Camille Gómez-Laberge)

Every year, thousands of children in intensive care units across the United States are put on mechanical ventilation to help them breathe. But while this technology has saved countless lives, it can also cause or worsen lung injury.

“A child’s injured lungs don’t often inflate uniformly under ventilation,” says Gerhard Wolf, a critical care doctor in Children’s Hospital Boston’s Department of Anesthesia. “So one part of the lung may be nearly collapsed while another is overinflated. We need to be able to see that so we don’t cause further damage.”

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