Ventilator: A weapon for Frontline Doctors
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Mechanical ventilators have become an image of the COVID-19 pandemic, for patients who can no longer have a real existence supporting breath. Mechanical ventilation is a form of life support. A ventilator is a machine that takes over the work of breathing when a person is not able to breathe enough on their own. There are many reasons why a patient may need a ventilator, but low oxygen levels or severe shortness of breath from an infection such as pneumonia are the most common reasons.

The worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 has countries scrambling to source ventilators, devices that could mean life or death for the most at-risk victims. It’s hard to quickly scale the manufacture of such specialized equipment, so governments and companies are getting creative. India’s Institutes of Technology are prototyping to meet an estimated need in the hundreds of thousands. The improvisation is a throwback to the early days of ventilators, which saw repurposed sewer pipe and baking tins become turning points in medical history.

An Indian engineer of Citadel claims to have developed rapidly producible, cost-effective ventilators that were tested successfully by healthcare professionals on the COVID patients.

• Prototype ventilators using precision air pumps for both high-end and low-end variants.

• Produced using indigenous components without depending on advanced imported sensors and regulators.

• Meets all the specifications fixed by the UK and Canadian governments as well as those of the Indian government’s empowered committee.


Essential Technical Features for Ventilator for COVID-19 by MOHFW:

1. The machine should be turbine/compressor based because the installation sites might not have central Oxygen Lines.
2. The machine should have Invasive, non-invasive and CPAP features to make them versatile.
3. 200-600 ML tidal volume, Lung Mechanics Display
4. Monitoring of Plateau Pressure, PEEP, PS, oxygen concentration, lung mechanics/inverse ratio (I:E)
5. Pressure & volume control & PSV
6. Continuous working capability for 4-5 days

Let’s have a glimpse of the historical backdrop, mechanism, and usefulness of this life support.

References:
https://www.thoracic.org/patients/patient-resources/resources/mechanical-ventilation.pdf
https://qz.com/emails/quartz-obsession/1835773/?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ventilator

Also read: Tablet-shaped portable ventilator from India helps hospitals Fight Covid 19 - https://pxmd.co/KjDlT
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