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DGDA approves Buet’s OxyJet for limited use

  • Published at 08:48 pm July 29th, 2021
OxyJet team conducts clinical trial phase I on a healthy volunteer under the supervision of medical doctors at BUET Courtesy

Its use can help prevent ICU admissions, claims the team behind OxyJet

Bangladesh has approved a limited production and use of OxyJet, an inexpensive alternative to the costly high-flow nasal cannula devices, invented by Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) to meet Covid-19 patients’ oxygen needs.

Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) Deputy Director Md Salahuddin confirmed the matter on Wednesday.

Two hundred units of the device would be produced for use initially, he said.

Production on a large scale would be considered after observing how well the devices worked, whether there were any side effects in patients and if any improvements could be made, added Salahuddin.

OxyJet, a low-cost non-invasive ventilator invented by a group of teachers and students of Buet, has been designed with Covid-19 patients’ treatment in mind.

Phase II of OxyJet’s clinical trial is conducted on less severe hypoxemic patients under the supervision of doctors at DMCH Courtesy

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The device can provide 60 litres of oxygen per minute with up to 100% concentration without any electricity. Interim data of clinical trials have shown that its efficacy is non-inferior to traditional high-flow nasal cannula devices, according to the team behind the product.

Moreover, OxyJet uses 30% less oxygen when compared to HFNC devices for an equivalent clinical outcome, according to Buet’s mHealth Research group’s website.

Infographic shows how OxyJet functions Courtesy

According to its inventors, the device can provide high levels of oxygen to patients suffering from acute respiratory problems without having to shift them to the ICU.

Dr Toufiq Hasan, leader of the team and associate professor at Buet’s biomedical engineering department, said the use of OxyJet in hospitals would alleviate the pressure on intensive care wards as patients could be treated in general beds.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices that are used to provide high pressure oxygen to critical patients cost around Tk1 lakh while HFNC devices sell for Tk4-5 lakh.

In contrast, the entire setup of OxyJet costs around Tk20,000-25,000, which will drop further if produced in bulk, claims the OxyJet team.