Delhi firm to make HAPO chambers

It can save lives of mountaineers suffering from pulmonary oedema

 
The chamber is a portable first aid device used for treating varying degrees of acute mountain sicknesses. The HAPO is a life-threatening form of non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema (fluid accumulation in the lungs) that occurs in mountaineers at altitudes typically above 2,500 metres (8,200 ft).

The technology, developed by DRDO’s Defence BioEngineering and Electromedical Laboratory (DEBEL) in Bangalore early this decade has now been transfered to MGM Associates, New Delhi which will begin commercial manufacturing based on requirement.
The most effective treatment for HAPO is to move the patient to a lower altitude, which is often impractical, especially at the forward posts, due to non-availability of aircraft or hostile weather conditions. And the technology, which is a light weight (five kg) cylindrical one-man chamber, will help the soldiers in such situation as it runs on the principle of increasing the atmospheric pressure around the patient thereby simulating descent in altitude.

The device will have a a long air/water-proof zip running across the length and has three transparent windows for the observation of the patient. A pressure gauge is provided for reading the maintained pressure of the chamber and a release valve is provided to protect against any inadvertent pressure build-up.

This chamber opens automatically in case the pressure goes above the permissible limit. An adjustable leakage valve is provided for maintaining a reasonable leakage rate for prevention of carbon dioxide build-up and excessive heat accumulation.

MGM Associates has paid an upfront fee of Rs 50 lakh already and will have to pay a three per cent in royalty for a period of five years.

Besides this, DRDO is in an advanced stage of completing the transfer of technology (ToT) for UMBRIEL - UV Herbal Screen for High Altitude developed by Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences. ‘Umbriel’, a mix of herbs known for protective effects against both non-ionising and ionising radiation.

Based on Infrared thermography and biochemical assays, it has anti-oxidant action against both UVA and UVB rays as well as skin nourishing and skin protective effects from skin burns and DNA damage.

Umbriel will help in improving the collagen formation, normalises the melanin content and expression of inflammatory genes. Umbreil prevents DNA thymine dimer formation and counters cold induced vasodilation.

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