This low-cost ventilator developed by a team of doctors, engineers, physicians, computer scientists at MIT could save lives.
The MIT Emergency Ventilator (E-Vent) project is open-source and uses a manual resuscitator (self-inflating bag) that’s already available at almost every hospital. The MIT team has automated the manual squeezing process of the bag by adding mechanical paddles driven by a small motor.
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This directs air through a tube which is placed in the patient’s airways, pushing air into their lungs. A standard ventilator can cost around $30,000 each, but this inexpensive alternative costs around $500. The designs are available online and can be built quickly around the world.
The researchers emphasize that this is not a project for typical do-it-yourselfers, but should only be undertaken by people with clinical engineering skills and specialized understanding of the clinical-technical interface. It should also be only used under the supervision of a clinician.