An international team of university researchers designed a low-cost ventilator using the resuscitation bags carried in ambulances that are widely available in hospitals, too.
The device is powered by a 12-volt motor and is designed to be produced from inexpensive metal stock and plastic gearing. It can also take power from standard wall adapters.
Researchers designed the device at Cranfield University in the United Kingdom before building and testing it at Georgia Tech, in collaboration with Emory University. Cranfield professor Leon Williams has been working on the designs with the researchers in Atlanta, according to a news release.
The research team has taken steps to collaborate with the Emory University Office of Technology Transfer so that the design can be moved into the manufacturing phase.
“We are adapting the bag-valve-mask (BVM) resuscitators that are already in place, designed to be manually squeezed for reviving a patient,” Georgia Tech Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering associate professor Shannon Yee said in the release. “We are providing the mechanical assist that allows the bags to be squeezed continuously for days rather than for short periods of time. We are using infrastructure already in place.”
The design has a unique aspect to it in that there are two BVMs per ventilator so that two people can breathe using one of each device that is built. The airflow is separate between the one device so that the users avoid cross-contamination and flow volumes can be controlled independently for each patient’s needs.
A small number of ventilator devices designed by the research team has already been assembled for bench testing and shared with hospitals in Georgia for evaluation.