A device that makes doctor visit easy for your child
Every year, during winter (November-December) primary schools in Delhi are shut down for several days to save kids from air pollution.
Children are among the most vulnerable to pollution as their lungs and immune system are still developing and their respiratory tracts, more permeable, leading to respiratory illness and other health issues.
But shutting down schools is of no use, if the objective is to save lives. A large number of children in India die every year, due to air pollution, according to the medical journal Lancet.
Under five years mortality rates in India, due to air pollution is estimated at 8.8 per cent.
Lives can be saved only if there are reliable screening devices to assess the damage to the lungs. But doing screening tests in young children is easier said than done, as kids are not known for their hospital and doctor friendly ways.
“Many a time kids get irritated and refuse to do the test at all,” said Joginder Singh Dhankhar, pediatrician, Dhankar Nursing Home, Sonipat, Haryana.
Under existing Spirometry, a common test used by pediatricians to diagnose asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other conditions that affect breathing, children have to forcefully exhale and inhale to find out how well their lungs work.
“Spirometry is not very useful in children under 12, as they are not able to do exhaling and inhaling properly to obtain the right results,” said Dr Dhankhar.
This is where a new device called ‘Impulse Oscillometry’ which is fast gaining popularity among pediatricians like Dr Dhankar.
“I started using oscillometry just a few months ago. It’s very easy. Even in kids under three years, you can get proper information about their lung function, without any difficulty,” he said.
“With oscillometry, a child has to just breathe normally,” he said. The test is done by taking repeated breaths, several times, through a tube connected to a computer. The entire process lasts for about half-an-hour.
“Small children take time to follow instructions, otherwise the test can be completed in 10 to 15 minutes,” said Dr Dhankar.
According to Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine oscillometry is a better monitor of airway obstruction than spirometry because it evaluates small airway obstruction and the effect of long-term therapy in COPD, which is more relevant to the disease.
But that has not stopped Dr Dhankar from using spirometry completely. “In children above 10 and in adults, I combine both. This gives me the most accurate values.”
Mr Ganesh Prasad Founder, MD & CEO GenWorks said “GenWorks brings best in class technology from the best brands in healthcare and our connected care platform helps bringing remote specialist access to enable adoption.
GenWorks Respirator solutions are complete for the care cycle needs and our tele pulmonology solutions help expand access to impact early health and thereby affordable access. Our solutions impact outcomes and save precious lives.”
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