Two engineering technologists working primarily at the Regina General Hospital are being recognized for their work on an innovative health care project in Alberta.
The Bag Me Up Scotty 5000 (BMUS 5000) is a joint effort between Daniel Tkaczyk, Edgard Jose and their former classmate at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Zyryl Mariano.
The project makes substantial upgrades to manual bag valve masks, which are used by health-care workers during CPR and intubation.
“You might have seen a manually operated bag valve mask on medical TV shows such as Grey’s Anatomy or ER,” explained Tkaczyk. “It’s when a mask is placed over the patient’s face and a medical professional manually squeezes the bag to deliver life-saving breath to the patient’s lungs.
“Our project aims to automate this procedure, to reduce medical professional fatigue and increase patient outcomes.”
To accomplish this, the BMUS 5000 uses four main subsystems.
“We have the touchscreen application, which allows the user to control the device. The bag compressing unit is responsible for delivering the life-saving breath to the patient. A CO2 sensor helps measure the effectiveness of the CPR that’s being performed, and the web application saves the CPR session results for remote viewing and assessment,” Tkaczyk said.
The project is being honoured by the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET) as a provincial finalist for the 2021 ASET Capstone Project of the Year Award.
ASET CEO Barry Cavanaugh said projects like these stand out not only because of creativity, but also because of how they will benefit the public.
He feels Saskatchewan is lucky to have gained two promising recent graduates like Tkaczyk and Jose.
“You can see what kind of a contribution these graduates of engineering technology programs are going to make out in the real world,” Cavanaugh said.
“We have 16,000 members in Alberta, and the contribution they make is usually on the quiet, but in this innovative and powerful way.”
Co-creator Jose has been living in Regina for eight months following his graduation from NAIT. Like Tkaczyk, he now spends his days maintaining, installing and repairing medical equipment for local hospitals.
“We were all super excited,” Jose said about the award nomination. “Our team put a lot of work into it. It’s really nice to be able to see some recognition for it.”
The winning project is expected to be announced in May, but Cavanaugh feels all participants should be proud of their submissions regardless of the outcome.
“Frankly, when I see these projects and see the results, these students are all winners by a long shot,” Cavanaugh said.