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U.Va.'s Department of Emergency Medicine to Begin Study to Help Patients Breathe During Ambulance Transportation

June 28, 2000 -- The University of Virginia Department of Emergency Medicine is beginning a study of a special, non-invasive device to assist patients with breathing while they are being transported by ambulance to the U.Va. hospital.

The device, known as BiPAP, delivers oxygen under pressure, which has been shown to help hospitalized patients with fluid in their lungs get more oxygen in their blood and breathe better. The purpose of the study is to determine whether use of the BiPAP device in the ambulance will help patients with difficulty breathing, and also whether it will help keep them from needing a breathing tube and artifical respiration.

"People living in rural communities don't have ready access to hospitals, so anything we can do to improve the care they get while they are being transported should help them have better outcomes," said Dr. Sabina A. Braithwaite, assistant professor of emergency medicine at U.Va. and head of the study. "Everyone who participates in the study will be closely monitored by the EMS provider and will receive the more traditional treatment if there are any problems."

This study has been reviewed by the Human Investigation Committee (HIC) at the University of Virginia. Since the patient would most likely be unable to give consent to participate and because of the potential benefit to participants, the HIC has in this situation approved a waiver to the usual consent process, according to Dr. David Peura, chairman of the HIC at U.Va. A total of 216 subjects will be enrolled in the U.Va. study, primarily from Greene County.

For additional information, call Dr. Braithwaite at 804-982-0605.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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Top news site edited by Jane Ford (jford@virginia.edu); maintained by Karen Asher (kac@virginia.edu); releases posted by Suzanne Raileanu (sr3r@virginia.edu).
Last Modified: Thursday, 22-Jun-2000 11:23:19 EDT
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