This Device Helps Newborn Babies Who Have Trouble Breathing

By: Katherine Pendrill - Aug 16, 2015
References: jamesdysonaward.org & fastcoexist
Two students at Western Michigan University developed a device that helps newborn babies who have trouble breathing. When an infant is struggling to breathe, they are often put in a special type of ventilator called a 'Continuous Positive Airway Pressure' (CARP). However, in many countries around the world, this life-saving machine is nothing more than a simple tube submerged in a pool of water.

The students came up with a new design for an inexpensive baby ventilator, which they call the 'Neovent.' This revolutionary new device builds on the original CARP design, by providing multiple pressure points instead of just one. The Neovent features a basket that collects bubbles, rises and then unseals various holes at different depths. When the basket reaches the top of the device, it falls again and the process continues to repeat itself. The cycle mimics the effect of breathing in and out, which helps babies who have trouble breathing by allowing their lungs to inflate and then deflate.

While the device is still in the prototype stage, the students hope to be producing the life-saving machine by next summer.