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Rice University Students have developed a portable Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Device, known as the Baby Bubbler, to help babies who baby's who are suffering from respiratory infections breathe naturally. The goal is to take the device to developing countries where they don't currently have the medical facilities to otherwise save infants with those types of infections.
The Baby Bubbler has two main components, said Michael Pandya, a Lubbock, Texas, native who developed it with four other seniors.
One component, a flow generator, pumps air through a tube and allows clinicians to add oxygen if needed. The tube goes from the generator to the infant, who breathes through nasal prongs, and then to the second component, a water bottle that serves as a regulator. "The pressure level to the patient can be changed by adjusting the depth of water in the bottle," Pandya said.
The prototypes cost about $140 to make and will be making their way to Africa for field testing this summer. The project is being included as part of Rice's Beyond Traditional Borders program.