Today it is difficult to constantly maintain the proper settings on a respirator as the child’s condition changes over time. The lungs have to be inflated to provide sufficient oxygenation – but without damaging the lung tissue, which can happen with too much pressure.
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have now developed a laser-based, safe method of analysis that will hopefully enable continuous monitoring of the baby’s condition.
This equipment will provide doctors with more information compared to X-rays. including information on the spatial distribution of air, also can detect how much oxygen is present in the different part of the lungs. The laser beam used is weak and harmless to the child.
“We use laser light at different wavelengths, and each of those wavelengths can probe different gases through the spectral fingerprints that each gas has”, explains the researcher.
If all goes according to plan, the technology is expected to be available at clinics in 6–7 years.