Lab creates new ‘lung on a chip’ for research

A doctoral candidate at the University of Bern in Switzerland has devised a next-generation “lung on chip” design that will allow researchers to test a broad array of new respiratory treatments on living tissue before testing on human patients.

“Organs on a Chip”, or OOC, technology has been around for more than a decade, and is increasingly used in clinical testing in lieu of animal testing. An FDA flyer describing OOC technology says, “The chips are lined with living human cells and their tiny fluidic channels reproduce blood and/or air flow just as in the human body. Their flexibility allows the chips to recreate breathing motions, or undergo muscle contractions.” The flyer further explains that “The chip’s transparency allows researchers to see the organ’s functionality, behavior, and response, at the cellular and molecular level.”

Each OOC unit is about the size of a AA battery.

The graduate student who led design on the next-gen lung OOC, Pauline Zamprogno, described her technology in a press release: “The new lung-on-chip reproduces an array of alveoli with in vivo like dimensions. It is based on a thin, stretchable membrane, made with molecules naturally found in the lung: collagen and elastin. The membrane is stable, can be cultured on both sides for weeks, is biodegradable and its elastic properties allow mimicking respiratory motions by mechanically stretching the cells.”

Depending on the type of research being conducted, the chip could receive “seeding” cells from either healthy or diseased lungs. The first batch of chips were seeded with tissue from cancer patients at the Inselspital Department of Thoracic Surgery in Bern. Ralph Schmid, head of the department, said in a university statement that lung OOC testing could open the door to personalized treatment. By seeding an OOC with a patient’s own lung tissue from biopsy, physicians could test a variety of treatments in a lab setting to help determine the most effective approach for that particular patient.

You can learn more at ScienceDaily.

Global mechanical ventilator market likely reached $3.1 B in 2020

ResearchAndMarket.com has released a report indicating that the global ventilator market likely hit U.S. $3.1 billion in 2020. The Ireland-based firm reported that this represented an increase over a global market of $1.1 billion for 2018.

The market-research company reported that prior to the COVID outbreak, the global market for mechanical ventilators was growing at a 7.1 percent rate. The 2020 pandemic ratcheted that growth up to 172 percent – which obviously will drop significantly. Still, the report anticipates future growth at a rate of over 15 percent in coming years – more than double the pre-COVID rate.

One of the more interesting aspects of the study was the fact that the disruption of the ventilator market caused by the COVID pandemic created opportunities for new players in the ventilator manufacturing segment – with Philips Respironics, ResMed, and Dragerwerks significantly increasing their market share during the 2020 ventilator shortage.

You can read a summary of the report at www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/5094112/global-ventilator-market-analysis-and-forecast.

As more facilities add ventilator care, or expand their existing ventilator ward, LinQvue REA should be part of those plans. LinQvue® Respiratory Event Alert is a wireless real-time ventilator alarm system that displays your ventilator alarms on video monitors and mobile escalation devices to simplify prioritizing patient care.

Best of all – LinQvue works with every brand of ventilator! The in-room LinQvue wireless transmitter connects to the ventilator using a standard nurse-call cable, making LinQvue the universal wireless ventilator alarm solution. No matter which brand of ventilator you’re looking to use, LinQvue will integrate seamlessly.

Alarm fatigue a growing issue – LinQvue helps solve it

A recent article on the online portal for RT Magazine illustrates the growing issue of alarm fatigue in the respiratory care field.

The article quotes Karen LaRoché, a clinical specialist at MultiCare Health Systems in Puyallup, Wash.: “Monitor fatigue is real, and it’s super dangerous.”

Dave Crotwell, director of Respiratory Care Services at Seattle Children’s Hospital, explained alarm fatigue this way: “(Respiratory Technicians) naturally get frustrated and fatigued when responding to so many alarms that are not real, because either the settings or alarm protocols are not appropriate. The signal-to-noise ratio is too high.”

Part of the problem is the increasingly powerful options available on modern ventilators – but Crotwell points out that increasing power can present challenges as well as benefits.

“As we add new devices, and attach them to patients, we’re layering alarms on top of one another.”

While the article interviews several manufacturer representatives who discuss their attempts to provide more meaningful control over alarm settings on the ventilators themselves as a method to cut down on the number of non-useful alarms, the LinQvue® Respiratory Event Alert wireless ventilator alarm system can also be an important part of an alarm fatigue solution.

LinQvue® REA is a real-time ventilator alarm system that displays alarms on video monitors and mobile escalation devices to simplify prioritizing patient care. The system presents a centralized, real-time visual overview of all ventilator patients in a ward on one or more widescreen video monitors near a nurse station or other high-visibility location.

There are no blaring alarms outside patient rooms with LinQvue REA®. The centralized audio alerts from the video displays gain staff attention with a pleasant but unique tone that reduces alarm fatigue in both staff and patients.

The LinQvue system uses its proprietary technology to prioritize patient care by presenting ventilator alarms in an ordered array – with the oldest alarms given highest visual placement.

And administrators will appreciate the fact that the LinQvue system maintains its own activity logs – which are in many cases easier to read and offer more distilled information than the native logs on a ventilator.

Currently deployed in more than 100 facilities nationwide, LinQvue REA® is proven technology that helps drive improved patient outcomes in respiratory care.

To learn more about installing the LinQvue REA wireless ventilator alarm system in your facility, visit our Contact Us page.

New Trilogy Evo ventilator designed for transitions

Philips Respironics has introduced its latest portable ventilator, the Trilogy Evo. Designed to follow patients when they move from one healthcare setting to another, or from a facility to home, the Trilogy Evo provides the same level of reliability expected in a hospital but with the flexibilty of a personal ventilator.

Photo courtesy Philips.

Featuring a 10-hour battery life, the Trilogy Evo features the same SpO2, EtCO2 and advanced respiratory mechanics monitoring capabilities found in other Trilogy ventilators. The  8” touchscreen uses patient-friendly displays to support easy set-up and setting modification. It offers new, on-screen Help and Alarm guidance, and user-friendly universal names for most ventilation modes.

Digital Auto-Trak provides an automated breath triggering and cycling algorithm that adjusts to the patient’s natural breathing patterns. It assists with ventilator to patient synchrony and comfort without manual adjustments.

To learn more about the Trilogy Evo, visit the Philips Respironics web site at www.usa.philips.com/healthcare/resource-catalog/landing/trilogy-evo.

Getinge introduces ICU-capable portable ventilator

Seeking to meet the growing demand for reliable, front-line ventilators that have the flexibility of portable units, Getinge has debuted its Servo-air® ventilator.

With all the features needed for deployment in an ICU, the Servo-air® ventilator also operates off twin interchangeable battery packs, allowing for uninterrupted change of power supply when moving the patient. And with its powerful turbine, the Servo-air® ventilator can operate without access to wall gas.

To reduce costs of both staff training and unit maintenance, the Servo-air® shares both parts and a common interface with the already deployed Servo-u® ventilator.

Learn more at the Getinge web site.

Study: Steroids no help for intubated angioedema patients

A paper presented at last month’s virtual conference of the American College of Chest Physicians found that steroids do not improve outcomes among intubated patients with angioedema.

The authors of the paper looked at more than 1,200 angioedema patients who were intubated at U.S. hospitals over four years (ending this past January). After looking at length of intubation, total length of stay, time spent in the intensive care unit, and use of glucocorticoids, the authors determined that the steroid use had no impact on any of the other variables.

Angioedema is a swelling of the deeper layers of the skin, most often around the face – particularly the lips. While most cases are successfully treated with antihistamines, severe cases can become life-threatening if the swelling spreads to the tongue or throat – blocking the airways, requiring use of a ventilator.

A synopsis of the full paper can be read at journal.chestnet.org/article/S0012-3692(20)32254-6/fulltext

Paper: Covid-19 ventilator care not tied to asthma

A recent letter published in the online edition of the Annals of the American Thoracic Society indicates that having asthma is not a predictor of whether a patient will require ventilator therapy after contracting Covid-19.

The Aug. 31 letter from a team of physicians at the University of Colorado Hospital studied not only 436 Covid-19 patients at that facility, but also reviewed 15 other peer-reviewed studies. These reviews, according to lead writer Fernando Holguin, MD, and seven co-authors, found no statistically relevant correlation between asthma and intubation. They contrasted this finding with other studies that found asthmatics were heavily overrepresented in patients admitted for hospitalization due to complications from influenza.

Currently, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) lists asthma as a risk factor for those who contract Covid-19. The paper’s authors surmised that the widespread use of corticosteroid inhalers among asthma patients may inadvertently provide them some protection from the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19.

The authors cautioned that their findings should not be accepted as the final word on the subject, but said these preliminary results do call for further study.

A press release from the The American Thoracic Society, publisher of the Annals, can be found at https://www.thoracic.org/about/newsroom/press-releases/journal/2020/asthma-may-not-be-a-significant-risk-factor-for-severe-covid-19-or-covid-related-intubation.php. The letter can be accessed at https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1513/AnnalsATS.202006-613RL.

A wireless solution to Covid-19 treatment

Wireless ventilator alarm system provides critical support in treating Covid-19

The ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic has put unprecedented pressure on the critical care sector of our health system. Hospital emergency room and intensive care units are being stretched to and often past their limits – and so are post-acute care facilities that take in Covid-19 patients when they are released from the hospital ICU.

In order to keep critical ER and ICU beds available, once stabilized patients are transferred from the hospital to a longterm care facility to continue to their treatment until they are ready to return home. Many of these Covid-19 patients will require a mechanical ventilator to assist with their breathing while their lungs recover from the infection.

While these longterm post-acute and transitional hospitals often have the capacity to treat dozens of patients on mechanical ventilators, monitoring ventilators for alarm alerts can be a labor-intensive process.

Those facilities that use the LinQvue REA® ventilator alarm system are able to provide a more agile response protocol that results in better patient care: LinQvue presents a centralized, real-time visual overview of all ventilator patients in a ward on one or more large, ultra-widescreen video monitors near a nurse station or other high-visibility location.

The LinQvue Respiratory Event Alert system uses its proprietary technology to prioritize patient care by presenting ventilator alarms in an ordered array – with the oldest alarms given highest priority. LinQvue REA® is a passive alarm system: Medical staff do not have to clear alarms on the system. Once a patient is cared for and the ventilator exits alert status , this is updated in real time on the LinQvue REA® system – keeping front-line healthcare staff focused on patient care, and not on updating the alarm system.

LinQvue REA® works with all brands of ventilators – the wireless in-room transmitters connect to the ventilator via a standard nurse-call cable. The transmitters are battery-powered, allowing for easy installation without competing for an electrical outlet.

Hospital and post-acute administrators can use the iQ ReportsTM software to review staff performance and compliance, viewing both specific ventilator logs and also looking at average response times, measuring trends over time, or comparing performance at different times of day.

Currently deployed in more than 100 facilities nationwide, LinQvue REA® is proven technology that helps drive improved patient outcomes in respiratory care.