A group of engineers from Georgia Tech, Cranfield University in the UK, and Emory University, have developed their own version of a bag-mask-valve (Ambu-bag) ventilator. It combines the ubiquitous resuscitation bags that are found within hospitals and inside ambulances, a motorized device to squeeze the bag, and an oxygen concentrator.
The nice thing is that the design allows two bags to be squeezed alternatively, providing an option for the support of two patients at the same time, with independently adjustable flow volumes, or to ventilate a single patient at up to twice the respirator rate. The tidal volume administered can be adjusted using a mechanical slider and the rate of breathing is controlled via a simple potentiometer (volume knob).
“We are adapting the bag-valve-mask (BVM) resuscitators that are already in place, designed to be manually squeezed for reviving a patient,” said Shannon Yee, one of the engineers on the project, in a press release. “We are providing the mechanical assist that allows the bags to be squeezed continuously for days rather than for short periods of time. We are using infrastructure already in place.”
Here’s a Georgia Tech video about the project: