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Mon Apr 13, 2020, 06:50 AM

Galway Team Designs Adjustable Ventilation System to Treat Two Patients from One Ventilator

They can't hold back the tide on innovation.

New system to safely deliver adjustable ventilation and will halve the number of ventilators needed for patients

Clinicians and members of the medical technology (MedTech) sector in Galway have designed a new ventilation system to maximise the usage of ventilators treating patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Inspire Team, based at NUI Galway, have designed a new system to support clinicians to safely split ventilation between two patients, while maintaining the ability to individualize the breath size and the pressure levels required by each. With health systems globally coming under significant pressure to ventilate COVID-19 patients, it is hoped this new system can help alleviate the pressure on resources in hospitals.

The system is being made available to health services globally on the website www.galwayventshare.com and it has been designed so that it can be replicated using medically approved ventilator equipment that already exists in most hospitals.

The system allows for delivery of the correct lung volume based on each patient’s requirements which can be adjusted as necessary. The amount delivered can be verified through a tablet connected to the ventilator, giving more confidence to the clinicians through individual patient monitoring. The design has been approached from a COVID patient perspective. Patient requirements can vary and the team have ensured that the volume can be adjusted for each patient to cater for this and adjust over time as needed. This is particularly effective for people with lung disease or respiratory illness.

Speaking today, alongside co-leads Jack Connolly and Atif Shahzad, Tim Jones, Enterprise Ireland funded commercial researcher and Co-Founder of SymPhysis Medical said: “The team has come together mindful of the need for speed in developing and sharing solutions that can treat the COVID-19 pandemic. We are making our findings available to colleagues worldwide to help alleviate some of the pressure on hospitals challenged by a shortage of ventilators. We are meanwhile moving to complete sensor and interface prototypes and rigorously test the full system, with all findings to be shared widely as soon as they’re available.”

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