Bag-valve-mask (BVM) ventilation is a highly manual process that is a first line of defense in patients that require respiratory support. Each year in the United States alone, over 400,000 people experience a sudden cardiac arrest event. For patients with respiratory arrest the positive pressure ventilation supplied by a bag-valve device quickly delivers air into the lungs until a more definitive airway can be established. This life-saving skill, however, is often overlooked due to its apparent simplicity. A study found that only 7.5% of clinicians were able to effectively ventilate a manikin using a BVM, while the remainder either delivered insufficient oxygen or hyperventilated the manikin6. In an emergency situation, this seemingly simple maneuver, if conducted improperly, can result in complications like barotrauma, gastric insufflation, pulmonary aspiration, and tissue hypoxia that could further harm the patient. Improperly managing the airway and tissue hypoxia have been shown to contribute to pre-hospital deaths for 34% of trauma patients, stressing the importance for a better solution to this problem.
To that end, Truvent is developing a device that will improve the means of delivering the proper amount of oxygen into a victim with a BVM. Taken together, our device provides a more holistic profile of information between the practitioner and the device to assess the adequacy of BVM ventilation. Given that people do not truly understand how variable the success of BVM ventilation may be, our device will shed light on a vital life-saving maneuver with the intent to promote a change from its current state.
This is my primary implementation project for my Master's program at Rice University. We have been working these first months to help isolate the need and to develop a product road map to know where our product would have most success in the market. We are now entering the prototyping phase, so stay tuned!