Introduction of the low-cost breathing system bubble CPAP at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital

rice university

Respiratory tract infections cause the death of approximately 2 million children under the age of five annually. Improved acute paediatric care can significantly reduce neonatal mortality. However, at approximately 6,000 USD per unit, conventional Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices are often unaffordable in low-resource settings. In 2011, Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) conducted a 10-month study on the use of the low-cost bubble CPAP device developed by Rice University. 71% of the 87 babies with acute respiratory infections treated with CPAP devices survived, compared to 44% of the control group. The treatment proved particularly beneficial for premature infants with complications, including sepsis, low birth weight, and respiratory distress syndrom (RDS). With over 28,000 hospitalized children at QECH annually, the paediatric department is interested in expanding the use of CPAP devices in its paediatric care unit.

For more information, see:

Clinical study finds ‘bubble cpap’ boosts neonatal survival rates

PLOS ONE: Efficacy of a Low Cost Cubble CPAP System in Treatment of Respiratory Distress in a Neonatal Ward in Malawi