Low-Cost Mechanical Ventilator

Odoo • Image and Text

    In 2010, a team of researchers in Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) designed and prototyped a low-cost portable mechanical ventilator for use in mass casualty cases and resource-poor environment (Mohsen Al Husseini et al., 2010). This type of ventilator delivers  breaths by compressing the Artificial Manual Breathing Unit (AMBU) bag with a pivoting designed arm. This design eliminates the need for a human operator to manually squeeze the AMBU bag. An initial prototype was built out of acrylic and it is driven by an electric DC motor powered by a 14.8 VDC battery and features an adjustable tidal volume up to 750 ml. The users can input the tidal volume and the number of breaths per minute. The prototype also features an assist-control mode and an alarm to indicate over-pressurization of the system. The reasons to this research project due to the attack of respiratory disease and injury-induced respiratory failure which constitute a major public health problem in both developed and less developed countries.

    In Wuhan, China, a novel and alarmingly contagious primary atypical (viral) pneumonia broke out in December 2019. It has since been identified as a zoonotic coronavirus, similar to SARS coronavirus and MERS coronavirus and named COVID-19. As of 8 February 2020, 33 738 confirmed cases and 811 deaths have been reported in China (Liu et al., 2020). This hazardous virus continues to spread worldwide and hospital runs out of ventilators to assist patient’s life due to numerous people have been infected. As responding to this problem, many groups have been formed to design and build low-cost ventilator to use temporary in the hospital that is needed. The same as 2010, MIT formed a new team and create a website, to provide an open source ventilator design, named as MIT emergency ventilator (MIT e-vent). The idea is also the same, is to use the compressed AMBU bag to deliver breath to the patient. However, this time it is different mechanism and program design.