Preterm birth and its direct consequences are the leading cause of death for children under five years of age worldwide. Fifteen million infants are born prematurely every year, and about one million deaths are associated with prematurity. Societies around the globe are addressing this problem, aided by the trend toward delaying motherhood in the developed world and success in strengthening newborn care in emerging countries.
OxyPrem 1.4 is a next-generation medical device that monitors brain oxygen levels of preterm infants in real time, using harmless, non-invasive near-infrared light. It continuously measures local oxygenation with the precision needed in the clinical treatment of these high-risk patients.
Users can set a target level and receive immediate notification if values deviate from that level. Several simple measures can then be taken to increase or decrease oxygenation, for example via the incubator atmosphere or through CPAP breathing support, a commonly used method.
OxyPrem is reusable and sturdy, offering a feasible solution even for challenging environments. The aim is for it to be fully compatible with standard hospital monitors in the near future. At Wyss Zurich, the next steps are being taken to integrate OxyPrem into clinical care on a broad scale. Over 25 hospitals in seven European countries are using OxyPrem, as part of a large-scale multicenter clinical study that is accelerating the medical community’s efforts to make brain oxygen measurement a component of standard clinical care.
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