Team Builds Ventilators from $300 Worth of Parts
A team at Rice University composed of faculty and students, self-named Take a Breather, has designed an automated bag valve mask ventilation unit to help treat patients struggling with the COVID-19 virus. The ventilators are made with just $300 of parts, and will hopefully be available to anyone in the world online in the near future. The device is programmable and is able to squeeze a bag valve mask.
Typically, these masks are carried by emergency medical personnel to help get air into the lungs of patients having difficulty breathing autonomously. However, the masks are difficult for the EMTs to squeeze by hand. The team found that the need to automate the masks is not only valuable at this time with the COVID-19 outbreak, but also for the future in developing nations where there is very limited access to advanced medical equipment.