A group of engineering students from the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Bhubaneswar, have devised a bubble helmet ventilator called 'Swasner' for patients suffering from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).
'Swasner' envelopes the patient's entire head with medical-grade plastic and supplies air through the tubes. It can be used in place of ventilators by directly plugging it to the available oxygen ports at hospitals.
According to the team, the name Swasner is derived from the Hindi word 'Swas,' which means breath.
The base of the helmet is designed in a way that it is sealed with a soft, airtight collar that wraps around the neck of the patient and maintains a grip.
The tubes fitted to the device have three ports, which supply oxygen, air and humidified air, as per the patient's needs. The helmet could be connected to wall-mounted oxygen cylinders in hospitals.
The inlet tube of the helmet supplies oxygen, and the outlet tube which is fitted to an anti-viral filter allows the exhaled air to escape the chamber.
One of the main advantages of using this helmet is that it is comfortable to wear since it doesn't touch the face. Apart from this, the patients could see through it well enough to watch television, talk, or read.
For making the helmet, eight engineering students — Tapaswin Padhy, Sai Sambit Nayak, Sidharth Nayak, Ananya Aprameya, Jivitesh Debata, Vitthal Gupta, Nand Kishore Gupta, Divyajyoti Dash, and Shovit Mittra — came forward as a team working under the mentorship of Prof Suraj Sharma of IIIT Bhubaneswar.
Amid the challenges that the COVID pandemic has brought for the healthcare sector, the helmet could also be used as PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) kit for front-line workers.
The patent for the air bubble ventilator is still awaited.
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