Aeolus: Detecting Narcotics-Induced Respiratory Depression (UC Berkeley)

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Aeolus

In order to sleep comfortably while recovering from surgery, hospital patients are often given narcotics for pain relief. However, this can cause respiratory depression, where the patients’ ability to breathe is hindered. This can lead to apnea (blockage of airways), respiratory and cardiac arrest, and death. Current approaches to early detection of NIRD chiefly involve detecting the blood saturation of oxygen and carbon dioxide. These strategies, however, provide imprecise information on patient respiration and often run into logistical difficulties. This project uses a detection system that employs visual, infrared, and ultrasonic surveillance of patient breathing, bodily changes, and positioning within the room. Software will also be built to integrate multiple sensory channels to construct a holistic portrait of patient respiratory status and NIRD risk levels over an extended period of time. This solution will hopefully change how medical staff intervene in cases of NIRD and also shift the paradigm of monitoring unpredictable and lethal postoperative situations.

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