Alleviating Nighttime Symptoms Associated with Nasal Cannula Use

Presenter: Antony Fuleihan

Research Category: Engineering and Technology
College: College of Engineering
Major(s): Mechanical Engineering
Student Type: Undergraduate
Graduation Date: 2021
Additional Authors: Geoffrey Lin
Award Winner Category: COE Solution Awards

Patients with severe respiratory illnesses often require nighttime nasal cannulas to receive a proper amount of oxygen. These cannulas can often cause ear and cheek abrasions, pressure indentations, and severe discomfort from the tautness of the cannula, the path the cannula takes over the ears and across the cheeks, and the compression of the cannula into the pillow. Current technologies that attempt to minimize injury and discomfort from cannula use either fail to properly route the cannula off of the ears and the cheeks or require a specialized cannula that prevent users from personalizing the fit. The main design goal of this project was to create a comfortable device to secure a nasal cannula in order to remove abrasions and pressure on the cheeks and ears. The design teamÕs solution routes the cannula through a castable foam layer, onto a sleep mask, and into the nostrils. The foam layer cushions the cannula to reduce the pressure felt on the side of the head. The headband secures the foam layer and sleep mask and allows them to support the cannula, instead of relying on the ears and cheeks to perform this task. The sleep mask also provides a layer of protection between the cheeks and cannula. After considering various thicknesses, material properties, and taper profiles by performing tests and constructing prototypes, a device was created that achieved the stated design goals while balancing unit cost with effectiveness.