#British hospitals will trial a low-cost modern-day “iron lung” dubbed the Exovent, which may help beat the enormous #ventilator shortage the country faces.
Developed by the Marshall Aerospace & Defence Group with the support of the #WarwickManufacturingGroup (WMG) at the University of Warwick and representatives from the Imperial #NHS Trust and The Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital, the so-called Negative Pressure Ventilator (NPV) would fit over the torso of the patient and support their breathing without require them to undergo an induced coma or intubation, as with a standard Intermittent Positive Pressure Ventilators (IPPV). The Exovent does not require the same sort of components as an IPPV ventilator, either, meaning they could be manufactured — at a rate of 5,000 a week, its designers believe — without putting any strain on the supply chain being used to produce more IPPVs.
Six of the machines are set to be trialled at a number of NHS hospitals, including the Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridge — described as the country’s “leading heart and lung hospital” by the Independent. “This is one of a number of projects we are involved in following the government’s call to industry for support in the battle against #Covid19 and we are incredibly proud that our engineering talent is being put to such important use,” commented Patrick Wood, Marshall ADG’s chief technical officer. “Clearly there is still long way to go but I am very excited about the potential of the Exovent product. It has so many positive attributes in terms of cost, ease of production and application, and at the same time doesn’t use any of the same parts that are being used in the production of the much needed positive pressure ventilators,” he added.
Dr Malcolm Coulthard, the design team’s lead clinician, said they had worked “flat out” to flesh out the concept in just ten days, on the assumption that a new negative pressure-based device could “allow us to produce literally thousands of ventilators very quickly and cheaply to cope with the tsunami of people with pneumonia that may be upon us because of the Covid-19 virus.” #binspirednews