Bernhard Dräger Award for research on non-invasive respiratory monitoring

26 Oct 2010

The Bernhard Dräger Award for Advanced Treatment of Acute Respiratory Failure has been awarded to Dr Jean-Christophe Richard from the Red Cross Civil Hospital in Lyon, France.

 Dr Jean-Christophe Richard, accepted the prize, valued at €15,000, during the opening of the 23rd annual congress of the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM).

This year’s prize will be used to support research about non-invasive respiratory monitoring and its application for the advanced treatment of acute respiratory insufficiency. Jean-Christophe Richard will evaluate the bedside use of Electrical Impedance Tomography (EIT) to help clinicians optimize conventional and high frequency mechanical ventilation in order to avoid injurious side effects of this treatment. The study will be conducted on 20 patients with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).

Patient individual protective ventilation

The mortality of patients with ARDS is still as high as 30-50%. Despite efforts to reduce the injurious side effects of mechanical ventilation, ventilation associated lung injury (VALI) is still likely to contribute to this high mortality. General approaches such as the use of smaller tidal volumes have improved patient outcome but seem not to be sufficient, particularly in very heterogeneous lung diseases like ARDS.

Electrical Impedance Tomography (EIT) provides continuous bedside monitoring of spatial gas distribution in the lung during ventilation. Using electrodes on the chest of the patient to measure changes of electrical impedance during inhalation and exhalation, a cross-sectional image of the lung can be reconstructed.

If clinicians can see where the gas is going while they adjust their therapy, ventilation can be optimized for every individual patient, potentially further improving the prognosis of patients with ARDS. It is the objective of the award-winning study to investigate this hypothesis, using computed tomography (CT) as a reference. CT shows similar information with a higher resolution but cannot be used continuously at the bedside and exposes patients to radiation.

Origin of the award

The award is named after Dr Ing. h.c. Bernhard Dräger (1870-1928), the son of company founder Heinrich Dräger. In just 28 years, he and his father were awarded 261 German, 443 foreign and 912 utility patents. Bernhard Dräger's philosophy was "invention is an act of imagination, the creation of something new." This award, aiming to support and recognize the ethos of Dr B Dräger, has been awarded annually since 2007.


To top