Chief Engineer Therapies & Applications, Dept. Head of Dept. CVE
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Extracorporeal carbon monoxide removal
For an acute carbon monoxide intoxication, only few therapy options are currently available. The only causal therapy exists in the displacement of carbon monoxide from blood by an increase of oxygen partial pressure in the blood.
The most effective therapy is the administration of oxygen under increased ambient pressure in a pressure chamber, named hyperbaric oxygen therapy, in short: HBO. Nevertheless, the elimination of carbon monoxide can be started only after the transport of the patient to a center with pressure chamber, which is possible only if the patient is in a stable transport condition.
From 25 centers with overpressure in Germany, 20 chambers are in limited readiness, so that important time passes by until the HBO therapy can be initialized. In addition, the called centers are not evenly distributed in Germany. Up to the beginning of the HBO therapy, several hours of delay can expire.
With a carbon monoxide intoxication it is valid that the more carbon monoxide is bound in the blood, the stronger is the shortage of oxygen supply to the patient. And the longer carbon monoxide is bound in the blood and circulates with the blood in the body, the more carbon monoxide deposits in the tissue and above all in critical organs, like the heart and the central nervous system. Thus, due to the intoxication the long-term risk for health damage and death is increasing.
To close this temporal gap between the diagnosis of a carbon monoxide intoxication and the HBO therapy, a system for the elimination of carbon monoxide will be developed.
The system should be small, mobile and portable for the elimination of carbon monoxide as a new therapy procedure at the accident site or with arrival in the clinic.
With the on-site and quick application of the system the therapy of elimination of carbon monoxide from the blood can be started immediately, less carbon monoxide will be taken up and the risk of long-term damages and heavy illness can be decreased.
This project is funded by the European Union and North Rhine-Westphalia, Support Code 1606pv011.