The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says it is working with manufacturers to develop a “lifesaving life-sustaining” life-supply that can be purchased online.
The life-extension device, known as a life-staging kit, is designed to provide oxygen to people whose vital signs and breathing rate are dangerously low.
It can also be used as a lifesaving treatment for people who have collapsed, as it can provide breathing support and oxygen when needed.
However, it has been criticised by some as being too expensive and impractical for patients.
“It’s not an option that people have access to in a timely way,” Dr Stephen Kornberg, president of the American Association of Poison Control Centers, told ABC News.
“People are going to need to have access for a while before they can go to the doctor.”
Mr Kornburg said patients had become increasingly wary of buying the kits because of a growing number of adverse reactions reported from the devices.
“There are quite a few of these, and I think the fact that we’re seeing these reports that are coming out of the United States, I think that’s part of the issue,” he said.
“This is a big issue.
There’s a lot of people who are saying, ‘This is not right, this is not going to work, I need to get out of this’.”
Health experts have expressed concerns that some patients could be put at risk by not having the kits in their homes, as the devices cannot be stored properly.
“I would like to see some sort of regulation in place, so that we don’t have people having to leave their homes and then be transported,” Dr Kornburger said.
The Life-Sustaining Life-Staging Kit, developed by Philips, is the latest innovation to make a comeback, with a number of other companies producing similar devices in recent years.
It is the first to be designed to be stored in the patient’s own home, rather than being purchased on the internet.
It can be used to provide support for people with cardiac arrest, as well as people with respiratory and circulatory problems, but it has yet to be tested in people with serious illnesses.
The device can be activated when the patient becomes unconscious or when they have severe respiratory failure.
However, Mr Kornber said the company would be looking at adding a “medical alert” feature in the device to allow people to know that their kit was being used and would inform them if they need further assistance.
“In the next few months, we’re going to be looking to add an audible alert to the device,” he told ABC Radio.
“We’re also going to look at putting a notification to the patient when they’ve reached the level of alert they need to be.”
If we do that, then we will also be able to provide them with more of an alternative to the ventilator and be able take them into a hospital.
“A spokeswoman for Philips told ABC New Zealand it had not yet taken a position on whether to offer the Life-Supply kit to patients.
But Dr Korneberg said it was unlikely patients would be able access it if they had been exposed to the potentially deadly fumes from carbon monoxide.”
The device has been proven to work in the laboratory, so we know it works,” he explained.”
But it’s not the same as putting the patient in a car and driving them there, which is dangerous.
“So I think we need to work with manufacturers, we need manufacturers to take these risks, and we need them to get some experience with it, so they can make the product available to patients in the United Kingdom, for example.”