In a £432,000 research project, teams from Nottingham and Leicester universities will use real-life data to create computer models to observe how variing the oxygen supply affects the lungs of patients while on ventilators.
‘The use of these ventilators can cause tearing,’ said Dr Jonathan Hardman, of the University of Nottingham’s division of anaesthesia and intensive care.
‘You can be faced with a situation where a patient comes into the ICU with a survivable illness but dies from a ventilator-associated injury,’ he said. ‘If they do make it out of the ICU, they could be left with lungs so badly scarred it could affect them for the rest of their life.’
The results of study will then be taken out into clinical trials. ‘Eventually this could lead to computer management of ventilators which will provide the optimum treatment with the least risk of injury,’ added Dr Hardman.