Ugandan Doctor helps Give Newborns a Breath of Fresh AIR

Dr. Santorino Data demonstrating the device in Uganda (AIR Project)
Dr. Santorino Data demonstrating the device in Uganda (AIR Project)

What is the wish of any mother who has just given birth to a baby, after lengthy hours of labor? To hear that child cry while taking his/her first breath of air. Any parent, and medical staff present, anxiously awaits for that child’s first cry, and sometimes the child needs help with that.  It is said that 10 million babies per year do not breathe immediately, while 6 million babies require basic neonatal resuscitation, and 3 million do not survive past their first day of life, and at least 1 million die each year due to breathing issues. Well, a doctor in Uganda, Dr. Santorino Data, has created the Augmented Infant Resuscitator (AIR), an inexpensive add-on device used to improve emergency ventilation, to help newborn babies who are having difficulty taking their first breath. The device monitors manual ventilation to provide real-time feedback on ventilation technique/quality and common errors such as leakage between the face and mask, airway blockage and incorrect pace or volume. This will give instant feedback to the health workers who are helping the child breathe, and will allow them to correct any mistakes instantly.

The Augmented Infant Resuscitator (AIR) - (AIR Project)
The Augmented Infant Resuscitator (AIR) – (AIR Project/ MIT D-Lab)

Well, check out this article on BBC which highlights Dr. Data’s work, and his partnership with a team of medical doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital to improve the chances for more newborns around the globe to take their first breath of fresh AIR.

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