April 28, 2020

Development of a new ventilator prototype for the ICU against COVID-19

Researchers and technicians from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) and the University Hospital Gregorio Marañón (HGUGM) have designed and developed a new ventilator prototype for Intensive Care Units (ICU) in the fight against the health crisis caused by COVID-19. The assembly of two units has just been completed in order to start animal tests and homologation processes.

These ventilators are an indispensable element for patients in intensive care with severe respiratory distress, for whom the mechanical ventilators being developed through other initiatives are not suitable. The project to support the development and manufacturing of these ventilators, which began on 1st April with a crowdfunding campaign organised by the Universidad Carlos III Foundation, achieved its initial funding target (50,000 Euros) in just 24 hours. 

With this funding, the prototype’s creation and testing phases, that are performed these days, can be completed and the corresponding licenses can be processed. The current funding amount raised has exceeded 67,000 Euros, thanks to contributions from more than 1,600 individual donors and various institutions have also been interested in contributing with additional amounts  to the project, amounts to be devoted entirely to the manufacture of respirators.

The health emergency caused by the expansion of COVID-19 has clearly shown the need for hospital material such as ventilators, which are an indispensable element for patients admitted to the ICU suffering from greater respiratory distress. There are ventilators available for foreseen emergency situations, known as automatic or mechanical “ambu-bags”, a provisional solution that is not suitable for long-term care of patients in the ICU. For this reason, there is a need for ventilators with the necessary features to treat patients with the coronavirus who require intensive care. In Spain there is currently not sufficient industrial production of these devices and the international market does not have a sufficient supply to cover the needs during these days of the emergency nor for the coming months.

More information here.

If you wish to know more about the initiatives and the research taking place at UC3M to fight against COVID-19, please click here.

Cover picture: Image of the new ventilator prototype for ICU in the fight against the COVID-19. Credit: UC3M.

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