100-Patient Ventilator for COVID-19
Mechanical ventilation is essential for the treatment of those most effected by coronavirus. The gap between the available supply of ventilators and the projected demand – in Canada and most countries worldwide – is 1-2 orders of magnitude. The shortage is extreme. While the timelines associated with drugs and vaccines are uncertain, the number of sick and the number in need of mechanical ventilation is increasingly certain. Many efforts are underway worldwide to provide ventilators, and we provide a comprehensive review of current efforts in a shareable repository. The key challenge with current efforts is that the one-system-per-patient approach will not scale in number, capability or reliability. The crux of the issue is that the one-system-per-patient model is broken, yet significant patient-customization is essential. We engaged team member and respiratory specialist Ewan Goligher to provide the absolute minimum requirements for patient ventilation and together formulated this challenge: How can one system provide for many patients, while enabling the essential at-bedside customization for patient needs and safety? Our solution – a 100-Patient Ventilator for COVID‑19 – levers centralized gas processing and provides the essential gas control at the bedside. The essential patient-customizable operating parameters are set via a simple fluid control unit. This approach levers the effectiveness and efficiency of centralized facilities, and reduces cost and complexity. Inspired by the Joseph Brant field hospital under construction with capacity for 90-100 patients, we designed our system for 100 patients that will be connected in 10 strings of 10 ventilators – all served by a centralized gas conditioning system. The budget here will enable the development, building and testing of 2 strings with 10 patient units each, and a central system with capacity for 100 patients. With success of this pilot in early 2020, we will have the potential to partner and scale for major impact in this outbreak.
With success of this pilot in early 2020, we will have the potential to make a major impact in this outbreak.