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Vietnamese breathe easier with locally designed and produced respirators

Update: July, 15/2021 - 08:43

 

Hanoi University of Science and Technology (HUST) has teamed up with VMed Group to make a high-flow oxygen machine to help treat COVID-19 patients. VNS Photo Minh Phương

Minh Phương and Việt Thắng

HÀ NỘI — Hanoi University of Science and Technology (HUST) has teamed up with the VMED Group to develop and produce a high-flow oxygen machine to help treat COVID-19 patients.

And they have the production capability to produce thousands of machines each month should the need arise.

This high-flow oxygen machine, called BKVM-HF1, will be used for patients with coronavirus or respiratory failure. According to the clinical research reports, around 60 to 70 per cent of patients recover well after using this machine.

Associate Professor Đỗ Duy Hải, a university scientist, said: “The machine is able to create a high-flow air that can reach 60 litres per minute and be delivered directly through the patient's nose.

“When patients receive the air, especially patients with respiratory failure, it has been shown to have good results. Patients can breathe better with a higher flow of oxygen.

“The air flow must meet two technique requirements which are adjustable oxygen concentration and temperature as well as moisture saturation of the air-flow,” Hải added.

“The oxygen concentration can be adjusted from 21 to 100 per cent, depending on the patients’ condition.

“The ideal temperature of the air flow is 37oC, which is around the same as the temperature of a person’s body. The moisture saturation can be adjusted from 95 to 100 per cent to ensure the most effective use of the machine.

“Using the high-flow oxygen machine will help patients to breathe easier and prevent collapsed lungs. It can also help to eliminate the remaining carbon dioxide (CO2) from the body. The efficiency of the machine is good and there aren’t any side effects.” 

 

The group spent just two weeks researching and designing the breathing support machine. Photo courtesy of HUST

The group spent just two weeks researching and designing the breathing support machine. It was then sent to the A9 Emergency Centre, at Bạch Mai Hospital to test its efficiency.

“According to clinical research reports, from 60 to 70 per cent of patients with COVID-19 using this high-flow oxygen machine have recovered, without the urgent need for ventilators,” said Associate Professor Nguyễn Văn Chi, leader of the A9 Emergency Center at Bạch Mai Hospital.

“The high-flow oxygen machine is a necessary device to support the treatment of patients with pneumonia and respiratory failure in the early stages of COVID-19.”

The machine was completed and certified on June 17 by the Ministry of Health after testing and meeting all technical requirements.

“Our team feels very happy about our effort making this machine over the past three weeks. It has really paid off,” Hải said.

According to Deputy Minister of Health Nguyễn Trường Sơn, more than 60 per cent of severe COVID-19 cases had to use oxygen therapy to support breathing during treatment.

Inefficient oxygen supplies and a lack of oxygen tanks has been a global issue during the COVID-19 pandemic. This has led to a higher number of deaths from the virus in a number of jurisdictions.

 

With an outbreak currently raging in HCMC the group aims to produce the high-flow oxygen machine on a large scale.

“Even when Việt Nam needs thousands of high flow oxygen machines, it is impossible to immediately get them from abroad,” Ngô Thanh Sơn, Deputy General Director of VMED Group said. 

“But here, the most important thing is that we are completely proactive in making the oxygen machines and because of our good preparation of production materials, we can manufacture and assemble thousands of machines in a month.”

Each BKVM-HF1 machine is made at a cost of about VNĐ50 million (around US$2,000).

“If we compare BKVM-HF1 with imported products, the machine is made with an effort to manufacture this machine as quickly as possible and at a low cost,” Sơn said.

“In terms of production prices, my company is proactively supplying and making simple functional versions of oxygen machines so we can make machines at prices ranging between 50-70 per cent less than imported ones.”

Around 30 BKVM-HF1 machines have already been produced and sent to COVID-19 hotspots nationwide.

“In the first batch, we produced 30 high-flow oxygen machines and we plan to donate them to the Ministry of Health,” Sơn said.

“There are 10 machines which have already been sent to HCM City to help treat COVID-19 patients. We will hand over another 20 machines to other provinces shortly.”

“We are proud to join with HUST to create a high- technology product that we can promptly deliver to COVID-19 hotspots, to quickly help hospitals with their treatment of COVID-19 patients."

Many scientists and technologists at HUST have been participating in Việt Nam’s effort to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic by developing solutions like rapid test kits, negative pressure isolation stretchers, positive pressure chambers, fresh air breathing caps, portable full body disinfection chambers, and mechanical ventilators among a number of other key innovations. — VNS

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