Simple ventilator is easy and inexpensive to build

March 26, 2020 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Simple ventilator is easy and inexpensive to build
There are too few high-performance ventilators in the world to simultaneously treat many severe Covid-19 cases. All over Europe and the world, bottlenecks could arise if the measures now taken do not work and a high number of serious cases of illness occur. A simple ventilator developed by researchers at the University of Marburg can be used to compensate for the lack of ventilation places in the corona pandemic.

A team of researchers and technicians from the Philipps University of Marburg and the University Hospital Gießen and Marburg (UKGM) has developed two different concepts for simple ventilators in a very short time, in view of fears that ventilation capacities might not be sufficient in the corona pandemic. The devices can be manufactured quickly and inexpensively and can be used in situations where clinics no longer have sufficient regular ventilation places available.

The first concept is based on the use of so-called CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) devices. These devices are used, for example, to treat sleep apnea and are available in many private households. The CPAP devices will be expanded so that they can be used for artificial respiration. The first prototypes are already running and have been given a very positive evaluation by relevant doctors at Marburg University Hospital. At present, the company is looking for production possibilities for the devices.

Since the modified CPAP devices are not as powerful as professional ventilators, they are not suitable for the initial treatment of acute, severe Covid-19 cases with severe respiratory distress. Clinical ventilators must be used for such cases. However, if patients have recovered sufficiently after a few days to require less intensive ventilation, the modified CPAP devices could be used for ventilation. Clinical ventilators would then be free again and would be available for the next person with acute problems.

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