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Device could automatically deliver drug to reverse opioid overdose

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Robert Holloway
Jul 25, 2019 08:20
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"The device wouldn't require you to recognize that you're having an overdose or to inject yourself with naloxone, keeping you stable long enough for emergency services to arrive."

Overdose happens when opioids bind to receptors in the brain that regulate breathing, causing a person to hypoventilate and die.

According the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 130 people in the U.S. die every day from opioid-related drug overdoses.

Lee's team has built a wearable device designed to detect when a person's respiration rate decreases to a certain level - converted from electrocardiography (EKG) signals - and then release naloxone, which blocks the opioid from binding to brain receptors.

Wearing the device would be similar to wearing an insulin pump: The current proof of concept is an armband that straps on a magnetic field generator, connected to a portable battery worn at the hip.

A sticker-like EKG sensor on the skin, such as on the chest, measures respiration rate.

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Robert Holloway
Jul 25, 2019 08:20
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