ANNA - breathing assistant for sedation
Completed: Spring 2015 Duration: 2 weeks With: Janis Beinerts, Sebastian Aumer and Trieuvy Luu
General anesthesia is a serious procedure. It requires the staff to be professional and the parents to be brave. Unfortunately, the child is required to be both. General anesthesia is usually needed before surgery and certain types of examinations. It can be performed in two ways: either via intravenous injection or with anesthetic gas through a mask. Sometimes, using the mask is the only option. Using the mask can be uncomfortable for adults, but for a child it can be terrifying.
Currently - In development
Currently, myself and Anna (the doctor in the video) are working on creating a professional prototype for medical testing. We have received over 90.000 swedish crowns from two business incubators to do this (Innovationsslussen and Uminova Innovations). Tobias, an engineer, has been hired 160h to come up with technical solutions that will enable us to test the concept with real people in real situations.
Most children are afraid, and many try to resist before and during sedation. The solution today is to drug the child with Valium-like drugs before the procedure, and/or to restrain the child while it inhales the gas. Both alternatives increase the medical risk and feeling of unpleasantness for the patient.
Also, operations that are not planned don't always leave time for pre-medication, making restraining the child the only alternative. If this fails, the operation has to be aborted. This leads to resources being wasted and, in worst case, the child not receiving necessary medical treatment.
- Increased risk
- Traumatic for the patient
- Unpleasant for the staff
- Complicates return visits
Breathing - The problem and the solution
Breathing through the mask can be unpleasant for several reasons. The resistance of the gas system makes it harder to breathe and the gas smells bad. To ensure a tight seal the doctors often have to push the mask hard onto the face, often increasing an already claustrophobic feeling. The main focus was how to transform breathing through the mask to a calming breathing exercise.