This is an unprecedented time. COVID-19 has changed the way we live and work, and the way the medical system approaches patient care. Clinicians are being shifted from their normal roles and deployed to care for patients with a new disease and uncertain prognosis.

A ventilator is a machine that mechanically “breathes” for a person who is unable to do so on their own. A ventilator pushes air in and out of a patient’s lungs and facilitates the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide at adequate levels.

Mechanical ventilation is a procedure often performed in patients in the emergency department (ED) who present in respiratory distress. The indications of mechanical ventilation include airway protection, treatment of hypoxemic respiratory failure, treatment of hypercapnic respiratory failure, or treatment of a combined hypoxic and hypercapnic respiratory failure.

Compared to many of the other procedures and assessments emergency physicians perform, the management of basic mechanical ventilation is relatively simple. While there are occasional patients who are very difficult to oxygenate and ventilate and require specialist assistance, the vast majority of patients can be cared for by applying straightforward, evidence-based principles.

The health care team always tries to help a person get off the ventilator at the earliest possible time. Some patients may be on a ventilator for only a few hours or days, while others may require the ventilator for longer. How long a patient needs to be on a ventilator depends on many factors. These can include overall strength, how well their lungs were before going on the ventilator, and how many other organs are affected (like the brain, heart, and kidneys).

For COVID-19 patients, ventilators are often crucial, given the nature of the illness. Committing to this therapy can affect the patient’s overall course.


Benefits of Mechanical Ventilation

The main benefits of mechanical ventilation are the following:

  • The patient does not have to work as hard to breathe – their respiratory muscles rest.

  • The patient's as allowed time to recover in hopes that breathing becomes normal again.

  • It helps the patient get adequate oxygen and clears carbon dioxide.

  • Preserves a stable airway and preventing injury from aspiration.


Our solution was launched on May 10, 2020 (Mother’s Day) and it was developed thinking on the capacity of manufacture on a scale (could be present on a national scale within weeks) and deliver a low-cost ($1,000.00) electronic bag-valve-mask (BVM) mechanical ventilator to hospitals according to their degree of need. The ventilator delivers breaths by compressing a conventional BVM with a pivoting cam arm, eliminating the need for a human manual operation of the BVM.

We recognize the global interest when a hospital has used up all ventilators and the only option is manual bagging a patient. We hope that such systems may serve as bridge devices and help with the triage of available respirators and clinicians trained in respiratory therapy. This may allow less severe patients to be cared for by less specialized clinicians, while resources are focused on those most in need.

Almost every bed in a hospital has a manual resuscitator nearby, available in the event of a rapid response or code where healthcare workers maintain oxygenation by squeezing the bag. Automating this appears to be the simplest strategy that satisfies the need for low-cost mechanical ventilation, with the ability to be rapidly manufactured in large quantities.

Our E-BVM Emergency Ventilator comes with battery and tailored ventilation adjustments of some variables like pressure, volume, and cycle. On the display, it shows the current values of TV (tidal volume), ET, SP, and BPM (breaths per minute or respiratory rate - RR). According to preliminary tests, they can operate continuously for more than 24 hours, as well as being set to work according to pre-established conditions.

The ventilation on room air is better than no ventilation at all. Blending of oxygen and air-gas mixture to adjust FiO2 is not crucial in an emergency scenario but this ability can easily be implemented with an oxygen/air gas blender that hospitals already have. In other words, the device accommodates wall or tank-based oxygen through the low-pressure oxygen intake port.

The complete set light-weight and portable. The time from the beginning of setup to the first compression cycle is less than 1 minute. The goal is for it to be placed next to the patient on a side table or portable bedside table.

The device is powered by 110-220V AC with a <15W power draw. It has a size of 25x25x50cm and weighs less than 5Kg.

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