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Maji: A New Tool to Prevent Overhydration of Children Receiving Intravenous Fluid Therapy in Low-Resource Settings

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  • Department of Bioengineering, Rice University, Houston, Texas; Rice 360°, Institute for Global Health Technologies, Rice University, Houston, Texas; 3rd Stone Design, San Rafael, California; Department of Paediatrics, Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Blantyre, Malawi

We designed and evaluated the accuracy and usability of a device to regulate the volume of fluid dispensed during intravenous drip therapy. The mechanical system was developed in response to a pressing need articulated by clinicians in pediatric wards throughout sub-Saharan Africa, who require a tool to prevent overhydration in children receiving intravenous fluid in settings that lack burettes or electronic infusion pumps. The device is compatible with most intravenous bags and limits the volume dispensed to a preset amount that can be adjusted in 50 mL increments. Laboratory accuracy over a range of clinically-relevant flow rates, initial bag volumes, and target volumes was within 12.0 mL of the target volume. The ease of use is “excellent,” with a mean system usability score of 84.4 out of 100. Use of the device limits the volume of fluid dispensed during intravenous therapy and could potentially reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with overhydration in children receiving intravenous therapy.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Rice University, Bioengineering, MS-142, PO Box 1892, Houston, TX 77251-1892. E-mail: rkortum@rice.edu

Financial support: This program was supported in part by a grant to Rice University from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute through the Precollege and Undergraduate Science Education Program. Additional funding for this project was received from the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance, Rice Center for Engineering Leadership, and the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen.

Authors' addresses: Kamal Shah, Erica Skerrett, Bailey Flynn, Z. Maria Oden, and Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Department of Bioengineering, Rice 360°, Institute for Global Health Technologies, Rice University, Houston, TX, E-mails: kgshah4@gmail.com, eskerrett11@gmail.com, baileyrflynn@gmail.com, moden@rice.edu, and rkortum@rice.edu. Matthew Nojoomi, Thor Walker, Michael Pan, and Ann Saterbak, Department of Bioengineering, Rice University, Houston, TX, E-mails: matthew.nojoomi@gmail.com, thorwalker2@gmail.com, mpan.wi@gmail.com, and saterbak@rice.edu. Kelley Maynard, Melissa Yuan, Paige Horton, and Taylor Vaughn, Rice 360°, Institute for Global Health Technologies, Rice University, Houston, TX, E-mails: kmayn@rice.edu, melissayuan92@gmail.com, paige.m.horton@rice.edu, and taylor.e.vaughn@rice.edu. Robert Miros, 3rd Stone Design, San Rafael, CA, E-mail: robert@3rdstonedesign.com. Elizabeth Molyneux, Department of Paediatrics, Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Blantyre, Malawi, E-mail: emmolyneux@gmail.com.

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