This paper describes the design and prototyping of a low-cost portable mechanical ventilator for use in mass casualty cases and resource-poor environments. The ventilator delivers breaths by compressing a conventional bag-valve mask (BVM) with a pivoting cam arm, eliminating the need for a human operator for the BVM. An initial prototype was built out of acrylic, measuring and weighing 9 lbs. It is driven by an electric motor powered by a 14.8 VDC battery and features an adjustable tidal volume up to a maximum of 750 ml. Tidal volume and number of breaths per minute are set via user-friendly input knobs. The prototype also features an assist-control mode and an alarm to indicate overpressurization of the system. Future iterations of the device will include a controllable inspiration to expiration time ratio, a pressure relief valve, PEEP capabilities, and an LCD screen. With a prototyping cost of only $420, the bulk-manufacturing price for the ventilator is estimated to be less than $200. Through this prototype, the strategy of cam-actuated BVM compression is proven to be a viable option to achieve low-cost, low-power portable ventilator technology that provides essential ventilator features at a fraction of the cost of existing technology.
Design and Prototyping of a Low-Cost Portable Mechanical Ventilator
Al Husseini, A. M., Lee, H. J., Negrete, J., Powelson, S., Servi, A. T., Slocum, A. H., and Saukkonen, J. (August 9, 2010). "Design and Prototyping of a Low-Cost Portable Mechanical Ventilator." ASME. J. Med. Devices. June 2010; 4(2): 027514. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.3442790
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