Navy designs oxygen recycling system to alleviate shortage

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New Delhi, May 19 (PTI) The Indian Navy said on Wednesday it has designed an oxygen recycling system that extends the life of the existing medical oxygen cylinders two to four times to alleviate the current shortage of the life-saving gas.

The system is designed based on the fact that only a small percentage of oxygen inhaled by a patient is actually absorbed by the lungs, the rest being exhaled into the atmosphere along with carbon dioxide produced by the body, the Navy said in a statement.

This exhaled oxygen can be re-used, provided the carbon dioxide is removed, it added.

'To achieve this, the system adds a second pipe to the patient's existing oxygen mask, which sucks out the air exhaled by a patient using a low-pressure motor,' the statement mentioned.

India has been badly hit by a second wave of coronavirus infections, and hospitals in several states are reeling under a shortage of vaccines, oxygen, drugs, equipment and beds.

The Navy said the oxygen recycling system has been designed by the Southern Naval Command's diving school.

'The system is now being progressed for clinical trials in accordance with existing guidelines, which are expected to be completed expeditiously, after which the design will be freely available for mass production in the country,' it added.

All components used in the system are indigenous and freely available in the country, the Navy said.

India saw a record 4,529 fatalities due to COVID-19 in a single day, pushing the death toll in the country to 2,83,248, while 2.67 lakh fresh cases took its total infection tally to 2,54,96,330, according to Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday. PTI DSP IJT