Vietnam makes its own high-flow nasal oxygen machines for Covid-19 treatment

They are the first ever such machines built domestically. The Vietnamese research team's creation will help treat stage-3 Covid patients
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Vietnam makes its own high-flow nasal oxygen machines for Covid-19 treatment
30 BKVM-HF1 high-flow oxygen machines were delivered to the pandemic center in Ho Chi Minh City, Bac Giang. Photo: HUST

The high-flow nasal oxygen machinese --the first ever developed in Vietnam-- were manufactured by a research team at Hanoi University of Science and Technology in collaboration with enterprises to treat stage 3 Covid-19 patients, and licensed by the Ministry of Health.

From May, the research team collaborated with a medical equipment manufacturing enterprise to manufacture the BKVM-HF1 high-flow oxygen machine used to treat patients with Covid-19, reducing the risk of mechanical ventilation.

Vu Duy Hai, director of the Center for Biomedical Electronics, Hanoi University of Science and Technology, a key member of the research team, said that due to the increasing demand for domestic machines, the team was directed to urgently research and launch a product.

Having studied ventilators before, the team did not face many technical difficulties, so after only 2 weeks, the first test product was completed. Machines are delivered to the units for standard evaluation as well as technical specifications.

"We have been granted a circulation permit by the Ministry of Health so that we can produce in large quantities," Hai said.

How does the oxygen machine work?

The machine supports the patient's breathing by continuously providing high-flow air at up to 60 liters per minute, with adjustable oxygen concentration. Breathing air flow is stabilized at 37 degrees Celsius with saturated humidity, helping patients with respiratory failure.

"This method helps the patient's alveoli from sticking, collapsing, helping the oxygen-containing volume to be maintained, the patient gradually recovers," Hai said.

The input source of the machine includes oxygen, compressed air, through a mixer to adjust the ratio and creates an adjustable oxygen content in the range of 21% - 100% depending on the doctor's prescription.

This amount of oxygen continues to be put into the heating and humidifying system, which heats the air to 37 degrees Celsius as the body's internal temperature, bringing air into the lungs to help the patient not lose heat. Humidification function reaches 85 - 100% (medically indicated) to avoid other lung damage during oxygen intake.

Vietnam makes its own high-flow nasal oxygen machines for Covid-19 treatment
The machine provides medical oxygen as much as as 60 liters, supporting the treatment of patients with stage 3 Covid-19. Photo: HUST

It was decided by the Ministry of Health to circulate in mid-June, which shipped the first 30 products to Ho Chi Minh City and Bac Giang for use in the treatment regimen of Covid-19 patients in stage 3 (of 5 stages). The patient at this stage are diagnosed as positive for nCoV, have respiratory failure and lung damage, but are still able to breathe.

Nguyen Van Chi, in charge of the A9 Emergency Center at Bach Mai Hospital, said: "According to clinical research reports, if using this high-current oxygen machine, 60-70% of patients with Covid-19 will be able to recover and do not need to use a ventilator."

The technology has been transferred to manufacturing enterprises to expand for trade, with a price of VND 50 million (US$ 2,181) for a machine (about half the cost of an imported product).

Hai said the group would continues to coordinate with businesses to improve the product. Currently, the group has received many orders from organizations and individuals to buy and donate to the pandemic center.

The Ministry of Health proposed producing 100 more of the machines to treat Covid-19 patients.

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