UF Health Team Develops Technique To Conserve Oxygen During Acute Shortages (UF Health Newsroom)

UF Health Team Develops Technique To Conserve Oxygen During Acute Shortages

As COVID-19 ravaged India and Indonesia this spring and summer, supplemental oxygen supplies became critically scarce. For some families, that meant exhausting their life savings on a single cylinder of oxygen in a desperate effort to help loved ones awaiting a hospital bed.

With that shortage in mind, a team at the University of Florida Health’s Center for Safety, Simulation and Advanced Learning Technologies, or CSSALT, conceived a novel way to prolong the life of oxygen cylinders by reducing oxygen waste. The simple, manual technique involves intermittently interrupting the oxygen flow from the cylinder during exhalation so that oxygen flows only during inhalation. The team tested the technique on a patient simulator invented at CSSALT.

“We found that when we manually imitated an oxygen conserver, this technique reduced oxygen use while simultaneously improving oxygen saturation,” said Sem Lampotang, Ph.D., the Joachim S. Gravenstein Professor of Anesthesiology in the UF College of Medicine’s department of anesthesiology and the CSSALT director. 

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