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Portable airway support in stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

17 months
Approved budget:
Dr Kathryn McPherson
Health issue:
Proposal type:
Feasibility Study
Lay summary
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Bronchodilators alleviate some of the symptoms of airway obstruction, but reduced exercise tolerance and difficulty with activities of daily living are common. Devices to support respiratory effort are available but are expensive and not easily portable. One patient with COPD recently reported using a domestic air compressor to assist mobility, with exercise tolerance and oxygen saturation improving on independent assessment. We have developed two small, affordable devices using Continuous Positive Airways Pressure and applied Positive End-Expiratory Pressure. Prior to testing effectiveness, acceptability/utility of these devices in healthy volunteers and people with COPD needs to be evaluated. A cheap and portable device has the potential to give patients, currently housebound by exercise intolerance and cumbersome equipment, freedom to undertake community activity. If these devices prove effective, significant improvements in health and participation for people with COPD would result.