Team: Adrian Tabula, Brian Dick, Vinay Viswanadham, Yumi Suh
Surgery is painful; for post-surgical pain relief, physicians and nurses administer analgesics to patients. Opioids are one type of analgesic given to patient. Notable among opioids are their narcotic properties. Narcotic analgesics bind to opiate receptors distributed throughout the central and peripheral nervous system. Agonists of these receptors cause a variety of effects, including pain relief. However, binding of opioids to receptors in the brain stem may cause neurons to hyperpolarize, resulting in an inhibition of respiratory function. This drug-induced respiratory depression restricts the amount of oxygen that the body receives, potentially resulting in death. This project seeks to develop a device that allows hospital staff to monitor the respiration of patients being administered narcotic analgesics in a hospital setting.