In February of 2016 the World Health Organization published a position paper on Oxygen Therapy for Children. There are a number of concerning statistics offered up by their report that are of particular interest:
- 5.9 million children die annually, mostly from preventable or easily treatable diseases
- more than 95% of those deaths occur in developing countries
- Pneumonia is the leading cause of death in children under 5 years of age
- Hypoxaemia (insufficient oxygen in the blood) is the major fatal complication of pneumonia
The report goes on to state the following:
“Despite its importance in virtually all types of acute severe illness, hypoxaemia is often not well recognized or managed in settings where resources are limited. Oxygen treatment remains an inaccessible luxury for a large proportion of severely ill children admitted to hospitals in developing countries.”
There are many challenges faced by those living in rural communities and while we, in developed countries, take for granted that oxygen will be available when needed it is not the case for those less fortunate. The efforts to develop solutions of providing oxygen in rural communities is the mission of many very prominent organizations: Gates Foundation, GE Healthcare and many others. Most of those efforts have not produced any meaningful results.
A bit of information related to why anyone can die of pneumonia particularly those living in developing rural communities. It has been widely noted that during epidemics like the Spanish Flu of 1918 and Asian Flu of 1957 hundreds of thousands died in the US alone and millions worldwide. Below you will find a list of the most common reasons for use of oxygen therapy:
- Acute hypoxemia- shock, asthma, pneumonia, heart failure.
- Ischemia – myocardial infarction but only if associated with hypoxemia
- Abnormality in quality or type of haemoglobin – acute blood loss in trauma
What is painfully obvious is that most of those deaths could have been prevented if there was enough supplemental oxygen available. Unfortunately the numbers during an outbreak as noted overwhelm the system. People stay at home, get sick and ultimately die because they do not have enough oxygen. Remember as the pneumonia progresses so does the magnitude of the hypoxemia. Eventually leading to critical organ cellular death and ultimately death.
The purpose of this discussion is not to solve the overwhelmed medical system during a major epidemic but to address what can be done during the course of normal living. I am talking about those babies born in rural communities of developing countries. They need help and they need it now.
Lifeflo Rx1.0 Newborn is a new technology that has been in development for over 6 years. It can provide 2 hours of 99% pure oxygen by simply adding water. Let’s change the world for the better – together.