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Title Vibrotactile stimulation system to treat apnea of prematurity
Author(s) Pichardo R, Adam JS, Rosow E, Bronzino J, Eisenfeld L.
Source Biomed Instrum Technol, Vol. 37, No. 1, Pages 34-40
Publication Date Jan-Feb. 2003
Abstract We modified a system that uses vibrotactile stimulation (VTS) to treat apnea (a cessation of respiration) in neonates in order to make the system more portable and easier to use by clinicians and nurses. The biomedical engineering department at Hartford Hospital (Hartford, CT) together with the Neonatology Division at the Connecticut Children's Medical Center (CCMC) (Hartford, CT) has been involved in developing the VTS system. Clinical trails were conducted in the neonatal intensive care unit of CCMC, and further preliminary data were collected. The main components of the system are a Tacaid vibrotactile stimulator (Audiological Engineering, Somerville, MA), a neonatal physiological monitor (Model 511; CAS Medical Inc, Branford, CT), a laptop computer running Windows 95 by Microsoft, National Instruments' data acquisition cards DAQCard-1200 and DAQCard-5102, and a software application developed by Premise Development Corporation, Hartford, CT. Heart rate, oxygen saturation, pulse, thoracic impedance, nasal airflow, and electrocardiogram are recorded from the monitor to the laptop. Whenever an apneic spell is detected, the nurse has the option of triggering a 3-second, 10-V, 250-Hz square-wave pulse to the transducer. The vibrotactile transducer is placed noninvasively with tape on the infant's thorax. This stimulus should arouse the infant and end the apneic event. To facilitate clinical study, the system provides voice and visual prompts for the clinician and nurses. Preliminary data continue to support both the safety and efficacy of the VTS.

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