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CPAP + Humidification for Neonates in Low Resource Countries
1 in 8 babies in low resource countries are born preterm. Because the lungs are the last organ to develop, premature babies are often born with respiratory problems such as Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS) due to underdeveloped lungs. Many of these babies can be treated by simply providing continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP. Being a noninvasive solution, there are many benefits that CPAP has for infants compared to invasive solutions such as ventilation. With CPAP there is a less chance of infection, less trauma to the respiratory tract, lower chances of unwanted side effects later on in life, and higher likelihood of survival. In the US, CPAP machines exist, but are very expensive and complicated to use. In low resource countries such as Zambia and Cambodia, there is limited access to this kind of technology. We have expanded upon existing bubble CPAP solutions to create a system that heats, humidifies, and pressurizes air for two neonates at once. Our device is specifically designed to support neonate respiration in low resource countries as we have focused on its simplicity, durability, and cost.