The Center for Safety, Simulation, and Advanced Learning Technologies (CSSALT) has started an Open Source Ventilator Project to address the predicted worldwide ventilator shortage due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the most recent study, there are about 62,000 ventilators in hospitals nationwide. Although this study is 7 years old and those numbers could now be higher, experts believe the United States will not have enough to meet demand if our experience is like China’s.
This project is being carried out with the following assumptions in mind:
- The FDA will waive clearance for the bare-bones design if there is a massive shortage
- Traditional medical components and ventilator supplies will be in short supply
- Transportation will be impaired and/or disrupted, so locally available non-medical supplies and equipment readily available at local hardware stores such as sprinkler valves and PVC tubing will be used
The design is bare bones but safe and the necessary supplies and materials will be locally available at hardware stores or through online retailers. This design is for an adult ventilator because older adults are at a higher risk.
As this is an open source project, the design will be available for use worldwide and for contributions from others worldwide. CSSALT is advocating for the distribution of this information and encourages contribution on GitHub.