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International Journal of Pediatrics
Volume 2016, Article ID 9214389, 8 pages
Research Article

Reservoir Cannulas for Pediatric Oxygen Therapy: A Proof-of-Concept Study

1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, One Silber Way, Boston, MA 02215, USA
2PATH, P.O. Box 900922, Seattle, WA 98109, USA
3Seattle Children’s Hospital, P.O. Box 5371, Seattle, WA 98145, USA
4Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, P.O. Box 23350, Seattle, WA 98102, USA
5Save the Children, 501 Kings Highway East, Suite 400, Fairfield, CT 06825, USA

Received 12 April 2016; Accepted 19 October 2016

Academic Editor: Raymond J. Hutchinson

Copyright © 2016 Grace Wu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Hypoxemia is a complication of pneumonia—the leading infectious cause of death in children worldwide. Treatment generally requires oxygen-enriched air, but access in low-resource settings is expensive and unreliable. We explored use of reservoir cannulas (RCs), which yield oxygen savings in adults but have not been examined in children. Toddler, small child, and adolescent breathing profiles were simulated with artificial lung and airway models. An oxygen concentrator provided flow rates of 0 to 5 L/min via a standard nasal cannula (NC) or RC, and delivered oxygen fraction (FdO2) was measured. The oxygen savings ratio (SR) and absolute flow savings (AFS) were calculated, comparing NC and RC. We demonstrated proof-of-concept that pendant RCs could conserve oxygen during pediatric therapy. SR mean and standard deviation were to , to , and to for toddler, small child, and adolescent models, respectively. Maximum AFS observed were , , and  L/min for the same models. RCs have the potential to reduce oxygen consumption during treatment of hypoxemia in children; however, further evaluation of products is needed, followed by clinical analysis in patients.