New Assisted Breathing Device May Soon Be Available for Patients with Trouble Breathing

New Assisted Breathing Device May Soon Be Available for Patients with Trouble Breathing
A newly developed assisted breathing device, based on the principles of older mechanical respirators but with more convenience and power, may soon be available for people with lung diseases who have trouble breathing. The Right Air vest is a small, powerful device to assist breathing that can be used anywhere. Its developers say it can significantly improve the quality of life of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients. People with COPD frequently experience shortness of breath due to changes in their lungs, usually linked to a history of smoking. This symptom is especially evident when patients are engaged in any sort of physical activity. In fact, some individuals can feel like they are suffocating when they are just going from one room to another. Seeing such difficulties led Jake Brenner, MD, PhD, a pulmonary critical care physician at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, to try to come up with a way to help COPD patients breathe easier, and improve their quality of life. “What if we could make a vest that can decrease the shortness of breath of COPD patients such that they are able to engage in life again?” Brenner said in a Penn news story. At first, Brenner made simple sketches of a machine that could help update the functioning of modern respirators, based on the same principle as an iron lung. That old concept refers to a classic mechanical respirator that uses both neg
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