A team of engineers at the University of Glasgow have developed a budget ventilator, GlasVent, which could help keep critically ill people alive long enough to either receive hospital care or recover.
The team initially started working on the project when there was a considerable demand for ventilators during the early stages of the UK’s COVID-19 outbreak. If cases were to peak again, the production of the system could be significantly scaled-up to allow for essential ventilatory support to patients.
“UOG engineers develop a low-cost ventilator.“
Effectively, GlasVent is an automatic variant of the bag valve mask and was programmed using an Arduino microcontroller to monitor the movement of a 3D-printed slide crank that produces a pressing action on the sides of the bag, to provide air to the patient.
GlasVent has three variants, including a mains-powered, a fully manual and a battery-powered version; with a build cost in the range of thirty-five pounds to one-hundred and thirty-five pounds, making the system ideal for developing world countries.
Project lead Prof Dahiya said: “When the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic started to become clear, my research group and I were keen to do whatever we could to help save lives. We’re proud that we’ve managed to go from design to build to testing in a matter of weeks. We’ve already conducted numerous successful tests on a medical mannequin fitted with artificial lungs, provided by the Royal Alexandra Hospital Paisley, so we’re confident that it is fit for purpose."See all the latest jobs in Service Engineering