A team of engineers and doctors from the University of California, San Diego, has developed an inexpensive, easy-to-use emergency ventilator for patients with COVID-19. Its design allows it to be more affordable. Also, assembling a new ventilator for the lungs will not take much time, and the patient will receive help faster. Engineers detail their work in the journal Medical Devices and Sensors.
Engineers created an automated system and reduced the cost of an emergency fan to $500 per unit. For comparison, modern appliances currently cost at least $ 50,000. Components can be quickly manufactured and a fan can be assembled in just 15 minutes. Electronics and device sensors are based on a reliable supply chain from non-healthcare areas that are unlikely to be affected by the shortage.
The UCSD MADVent Mark V is also the only device that offers pressure-controlled ventilation equipped with alarms. They can be adjusted to signal too low or too high pressure. This is especially important because overpressure can cause lung damage in patients with COVID-19, who often experience an accelerated decrease in lung capacity as the disease progresses.
Most ventilators measure the amount of air that is delivered to the patient’s lungs, which requires expensive airflow sensors. The UCSD MADVent Mark V, by contrast, measures pressure and uses this data to hold and control the flow of air into the lungs. This was the key to lowering the price of the device.
The TUC San Diego team and industry partners will request device approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
MADVent can safely meet the diverse requirements of patients with COVID-19 because it can regulate the wide range of respiration parameters needed to treat acute respiratory distress syndrome. The combination of prefabricated components and easily machined parts with a mechanical pressure control drive makes our design both inexpensive and quick to produce.James Friend, Professor, UC San Diego School of Engineering
The researchers also wanted to make sure that the device could be used by medical professionals with limited experience with fans and this type of system. As a result, the MADVent Mark V is safe to use, easy to assemble, and repair.
This device can be a great option for use in situations where materials are scarce, for example, when the normal supply chain is disrupted or in developing countries and inaccessible rural areas, the developers will conclude.