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Indonesian institute develops oxygen therapy device for COVID-19 patients

Tri Indah Oktavianti

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Fri, June 19, 2020  /  10:13 am
Indonesian institute develops oxygen therapy device for COVID-19 patients

The Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) has developed a locally made high-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) – a device used to deliver supplemental oxygen to patients in need of respiratory help – for COVID-19 treatment. (Courtesy of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI)/LIPI)

The Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) has developed a locally made high-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) – a device used to deliver supplemental oxygen to patients in need of respiratory help – for COVID-19 treatment.

“The HFNC is the first [device of its type] to pass the standards of the Health Ministry’s health facility security office,” said LIPI researcher Agus Haryono in a written statement on Thursday.

LIPI researcher Hendri Maja Saputra said the device, dubbed the Gerlink LIPI High Flow Nasal Cannula – 01, was useful for treating patients in the early stages of COVID-19 who were still able to breathe independently.

“It prevents patients from respiratory failure and serves as an alternative to invasive ventilators,” he said.

Read also: Govt launches mobile laboratory to increase COVID-19 testing capacity

Unlike mechanical ventilators, the HFNC device straps around the head and provides oxygen through a flexible plastic tube inserted into each nostril. The device is less invasive than mechanical ventilators and is considered to pose less risk of complication.

According to Hendri, the device could also be used to treat patients with chronic obstructive lung disease, restrictive thoracic disease, chest deformities, neuromuscular disease and decompensated obstructive sleep apnea.

“One hundred units of the HFNC device can be produced per month, so they can be used by health facilities or directly by the patients themselves,” he said.

Previously, the LIPI began clinical trials of two herbal medicines made from the Cordyceps militaris fungus and a mix of ginger, gripeweed, creat and ngai camphor intended to boost the immune systems of COVID-19 patients. 

The LIPI began research on the medicines in March, and the initial results of the clinical trial are expected in July.

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