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Seattle Children's Invention Lands Major Funding with Hopes of Saving Thousands of Infant Lives Globally Each Year
Date:8/16/2011

Sea-PAP could save the lives of many thousands of these babies each year, if broadly adopted.

"Cost of technology should not be the deciding factor for which life is saved.  Sea-PAP will provide more communities, even in the most rural areas, with the tools to save premature infants with respiratory distress," said Thomas N. Hansen, MD, CEO at Children's and co-inventor of Sea-PAP.  "If we could even make a dent of a few percentage points in infant mortality rates, the impact would be staggering."

Preterm birth is the 7th leading U.S. healthcare expenditure today, costing approximately $26 billion a year.  A simple tool like Sea-PAP could also help address the financial burden that prematurity brings to healthcare.  

Benefits of Simplified Technology and Other Key Differentiators
What differentiates Sea-PAP from most other respiratory support devices is that it is simpler to assemble and maintain, thus enabling a low cost of ownership.  To build and operate Sea-PAP, only a small tool kit of supplies are needed, including a continuous air supply, a breathing circuit tube, a tube for the nose, water, and a competent human operator.  The breathing and nose tubes can be used multiple times, if sterilized.  

Sea-PAP works like conventional B-CPAP devices providing a continuous flow of air via tubes inserted in an infant's nostrils.  Sea-PAP's key differentiator from other B-CPAP devices is that its breathing circuit tube is placed in water at a 135 degree slope, which creates fluctuations in the positive airway pressure.  These fluctuations keep the lungs open, which lessens the work required from respiratory muscles, thus making it easier to breathe.  

Respiratory muscle exhaustion is a major cause of failure in conventional B-CPAP therapy.  These failures often necessitate the need for tracheal intubation, mechanical ventilation, and exposur
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SOURCE Seattle Children's Hospital Research Institute
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