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New device launched to reduce mortality rate of Pneumonia affected ICU patients

Bengaluru: A new device, which was launched on Friday, aims to bring down the mortality rate of Pneumonia affected ICU patients.

VAPCare, the first device of its kind in the world, automates today’s manual process of secretion clearance and oral cleansing performed by nurses.

According to Coeo Labs, which developed VAPCare, it is the world’s first automated and intelligent secretion clearance and oral hygiene management system for ventilated patients.

Secretion management and oral hygiene care is critical for reducing the risk of Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia (VAP), a type of lung infection that affects ICU patients on mechanical ventilators, and directly leads to over 250,000 deaths annually in India alone.

Manual suctioning of secretions is time-consuming, and the shortage of well-trained nurses means that this protocol is not always followed.

By automating this critical infection prevention processes, VAPCare improves protocol compliance and consistency, and is expected to drastically reduce VAP cases and VAP related deaths.

“People admitted to ICUs often contract VAP, an infection caused by the bacteria that collect in the lungs of a patient who has been on a ventilator for more than 48 hours. VAPCare addresses this issue by completely automating oral hygiene management. Through its patented technology platform, VAPCare intelligently clears secretions from three areas, and allows the doctor to customise the protocol depending on each patient’s clinical needs,” said Nitesh Jangir, Lead Engineer, Coeo Labs.

Coeo Labs is the critical care division of Bengaluru-based InnAccel Technologies.

“VAP is quite common among patients in critical care settings. Unfortunately, consistency of secretion management and oral hygiene protocols is often poor. In fact, this is a leading cause of VAP, resulting in 600,000 cases in India every year. We wanted to address this problem with VAPCare, which automatically removes saliva before it reaches the lungs and also pushes anti-microbial liquid into oral cavities. It increases ICU efficiency and eliminates multiple risk factors that are associated with the manual-suctioning process,” explained, A Vijayarajan, CTO, InnAccel Technologies.

VAPCare was developed with support from the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), Government of India.

The device has been approved by the US FDA, and has received a number of innovation awards in India and abroad. These include the Go Austria Winner 2017, the Silver Award in Mass Challenge Boston 2016, and a Top 16 Healthcare Technology Winner from the American College of Cardiology in 2015.

VAPCare has undergone extensive technical and clinical evaluation. A 30-patient clinical evaluation was recently completed with excellent results. The device not only improved patient safety by bringing down cases of mucosal injury, but also increased the effectiveness of secretion clearance. Most importantly, no incident of VAP was reported.

The device has been evaluated by some of India’s top medical facilities, including All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi; Narayana Health, Bengaluru; and Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS), Hyderabad.

“VAPCare has a strong physiological basis to help decrease the incidence of VAP. We observed no VAP in the initial cases, and are excited to evaluate the technology further,” said Dr Vimal Bhardwaj, Consultant – Critical Care Medicine, Narayana Health, Bengaluru.

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