a woman sitting at a sewing machine holding a cloth headband up in front of her

Deb Flint, RRT with an early design of her Oxygen Therapy Band innovation.

Deb Flint, RRT, has been caring for patients for over 36 years, first as a paramedic and now as a respiratory therapist at Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast, ME. Many of Deb’s patients require 24/7 oxygen support and often develop uncomfortable rashes and infections behind their ears where the oxygen cannula tubes rub against the skin. Determined to improve the comfort and experience of her patients, Deb took to her sewing machine in search of a solution.

Deb created a simple cloth headband with Velcro tabs to lift the oxygen tubes off of patients’ ears. The cotton “Oxygen Therapy Bands” also include light elastic to provide a secure fit for patients. She tested it among her friends and colleagues and found it was the perfect solution to her patients’ problem.

Eager to bring her Oxygen Therapy Bands to a wider audience, Deb applied to the MaineHealth Innovation Ignite Fund in fall 2020 and received funds to scale production of the headbands. MaineHealth Innovation has supported Deb by connecting her to MaineHealth Care at Home to discuss piloting the headbands in a home care setting. Through its expertise and financial support, MaineHealth Innovation also assisted Deb in filing a patent for the headband and is now helping her pull together a team to help commercialize the idea.

The oxygen therapy band is a simple, low-cost solution to an unmet care need that prioritizes the comfort of patients while in the care of MaineHealth and when they continue care at home.

NEXT STEPS

Deb is currently working with MaineHealth Innovation to explore potential manufacturers who can help produce more of her headbands for patients in need.

sketch of the breathe easier oxygen therapy band

A sketch of the Oxygen Therapy Band

TEAM

Deb Flint, RRT
Respiratory Therapist
Waldo County General Hospital