Band Aide Size Dis­cov­ery Ac­cu­rately Mon­i­tors Pa­tients Breath­ing – Dur­ing and Af­ter Surgery

Wellness Update - - Contents -

One of the most im­por­tant in­di­ca­tors of a pa­tient’s med­i­cal sta­tus is – quite sim­ply – the way he or she breathes. Dur­ing and af­ter surgery, physi­cians closely mon­i­tor the rate by which air passes in and out of the lungs. Good breath flow is a good sign. Ir­reg­u­lar or noisy breath­ing can raise a se­ri­ous red flag and an in­creas­ing res­pi­ra­tory rate can be an early warn­ing sign of a ma­jor ad­verse event. A de­creas­ing res­pi­ra­tory rate may in­di­cate opi­oids in­duced res­pi­ra­tory de­pres­sion. Re­searchers may have iden­ti­fied a de­vice to ex­pand mon­i­tor­ing of pa­tients in re­cov­ery. The de­vice – the mere size of a small bandage– could soon add to the safety of pa­tients in re­cov­ery. Dr. Michael Ram­say, pres­i­dent of Bay­lor Re­search In­sti­tute (BRI) and his team re­viewed the ef­fec­tive­ness of an acous­tic res­pi­ra­tory rate mon­i­tor, a tool that mea­sures a pa­tient’s breath­ing through sound. The small de­vice, placed on the pa­tient’s neck, is equipped with acous­tic tech­nol­ogy that trans­lates res­pi­ra­tory sounds into an elec­tronic sig­nal. It is ba­si­cally a dig­i­tal stetho­scope that can trans­mit breath sounds to a re­mote mon­i­tor. “Ex­ist­ing tech­nol­ogy mea­sur­ing ex­haled carbon diox­ide (cap­nome­ter) is placed in a very sen­si­tive area un­der the nose. Th­ese de­vices are fre­quently dis­lodged and not wire­less,” Dr. Ram­say said. The new de­vice, he said, mea­sures res­pi­ra­tory rate – an im­por­tant com­po­nent of ven­ti­la­tion – and dis­plays the qual­ity of the breath sound. It is un­ob­tru­sive to the pa­tient and wire­less. Among their find­ings, the team saw that the acous­tic de­vice ac­cu­rately recorded breath rate both au­to­mat­i­cally and con­tin­u­ally.

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