Scientists and doctors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are building an innovative low-cost ventilator for coronavirus patients. They are making the design free online so hospitals across the world can benefit. The ventilator is made from a self-inflating bag found alongside most hospital beds which are typically used by doctors for manual resuscitation in an emergency. So to turn the bag into a ventilator machine. The MIT team added a mechanical device that squeezes the bag automatically pumping air into the patient lungs. The parts cost around $500. Compared with the $30,000 cost of a typical ventilator.
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that can compromise the lungs. Thousands more ventilators are needed across the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. MIT has made the design freely available online for others to build. But emphasizes that only people with clinical engineering skill should do so as any fault in assembly could have severe consequences for patients.
The team of scientists, doctors and engineers are volunteers working anonymously and without funding. MIT has also joined forces with an architect to make hospitals from shipping containers.