A tear in vacuumed packaging is irritating. But excess air in your body is dangerous.
A stab wound, say, can result in air leaking into the space between the lung and chest wall. If this air then presses on the lung, it can trigger a collapse.
Cue a research team from Calgary University in Canada, which has developed a device allowing air to be released from the lung quickly and safely.
Sensors in the screwdriver-like tool ensure it isn’t inserted too deeply, protecting organs from accidental damage.
The life-saving measure can be performed on the ground by a first-aider, taking the pressure off hospital emergency operators.
First prototypes will be manufactured in the coming months. A relief.