"The device is not a replacement for a mechanical ventilator, but works as a bridge for a few hours to a few days before conventionalmechanical ventilation can be provided," a press release from the Institute of national importance said.
The Sree Chitra Thirunal Institute for Medical Sciences & Technology (SCTIMST), here has developed an indigenous easy-to-operate Emergency Breathing Assist System (EBAS) in an effort to meet the shortage of ventilators during the COVID-19 crisis.
“The device is not a replacement for a mechanical ventilator, but works as a bridge for a few hours to a few days before conventionalmechanical ventilation can be provided,” a press release from the Institute of national importance said.
The product, which is ready for commercial production under the brand name Air Bridge, will be launched by Dr V K Saraswat, President of SCTIMST, on July 7 through video conference.
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According to Dr Asha Kishore, Director SCTIMST, the devastating nature of the illness called for the immediate indigenious development of ventilators and prudent utilisation of available mechanical ventilators for the care of critically ill COVID-19 patients in intensive care units.
The non-availability of sufficient number of ventilators to meet such an unprecedented situation meant that alternatives had to be found immediately to provide respiratory assistance to patients waiting for ventilators to be available in ICUs.
“There was an unmet need to rapidly develop an easy-to-operate, emergency breathing assist device for such a scenario,” she said.
The device, which is compliant with national and International standards and guidelines, has been manufactured using components sourced from established supply chains within the country.
A team of engineers– Sarath S Nair, Vinod Kumar V and Nagesh D S– from the department of Medical Device Engineering and Prof Thomas Koshy and Prof Manikantan from the department of Anaesthesia of SCTIMST developed the specifications and technology.
The knowhow and design of the EBAS were transferred to Wipro 3D in Aprilthis year for further joint development, the release said.
The EBAS AirBridge provides positive pressure and volume controlled ventilation through automatic, cyclical, inflation and deflation of a Bag Valve Mask (BVM) system.
The essential parameters of ventilation such as tidal volume, breaths per minute, inspiration to expiration ratiocan be adjusted by the operator.
The device is portable, battery operated, has low running costs and is user friendly and does not need an intensive care specialist to operate it.
Air Bridge can be used for ventilator support in COVID-19 related emergency situations in hospital wards and during transportation of patients in ambulances till conventional mechanical ventilation can be provided in an ICU.
It can also be used in small hospitals without central oxygen cylindersin emergency situations.