A rapidly deployable individualized system for augmenting ventilator capacity

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Science Translational Medicine  24 Jun 2020:
Vol. 12, Issue 549, eabb9401
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.abb9401

Divide and conquer

Ventilators, machines that move air into and out of lungs, can be shared among patients in emergency situations, although this practice poses safety concerns. Srinivasan et al. developed a system of tubing, sensors, filters, and valves to provide individualized volume and pressure control to two or more individuals from a shared ventilator. The system was applied to open- and closed-circuit ventilators, provided temporary respiratory support to two artificial test lungs or pigs with differing pulmonary compliance and resistance, measured pulmonary mechanics, and accommodated sudden flow changes or the addition or removal of an individual from shared ventilation. Use of readily available materials enables the rapid deployment of this system.

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