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Rapid Development of Ventilators for COVID-19 Patients

“Staying safe, staying healthy” has become an utmost concern in recent times and well-equipped healthcare infrastructure is becoming the most essential need of countries across the globe. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has highlighted some glaring gaps in the preparedness of the global healthcare industry especially in the supply of reliable medical equipment and consumables. Most notably, the global demand for ventilators has risen by up to 10 times this year. Many manufacturers have already boosted their production by 30-50% and they can’t deliver the 500 or 1,000% growth in production that’s required. [1]

Breathing aids are a crucial part of the treatment procedure for patients severely infected with the virus, occasionally during transportation to the hospital by ambulance and often while in intensive care units (ICUs). In terms of their core function, mechanical ventilators are sophisticated pumps that control the oxygen and/or airflow to and from the patient’s lungs, supporting them while the natural respiratory function deteriorates. Mechanical ventilation could be an invasive or non-invasive type. The most basic type, known as non-invasive ventilation, is where breathing support is administered through a face or nasal mask to help a patient to breathe easier. Invasive ventilation has a tube that’s inserted into the trachea of the person to provide breathing support for their lungs. This type of ventilation is used in cases when the viral infection has become severe by damaging the walls and linings of lung air sacs.

Bag Valve Mask (BVM) Resuscitators

The Bag Valve Mask (BVM), also known as the Ambu bag, is a basic type of mechanical resuscitator that consists of a self-inflating bladder that attaches to either a ventilation mask or tracheal tube via a pressure control valve. This basic life support system is used in an ambulance or a hospital waiting room until the patient can be brought into the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of a hospital and put on a proper ventilator. The breathing support through this resuscitator is established by squeezing the self-inflating bladder through a manual or automated mechanism that opens the valve, forcing air into the lungs. Releasing the bag allows the pressure inside the device to drop. The patient then passively exhales through the one-way valve. Typically, the pop-off valve can be adjusted to release at either higher or lower pressures, allowing the provider to compensate for the compliance (ease of inflation) of the patient’s lungs. It also helps with avoiding the over-pressurization of the lungs with potential barotrauma.

Modern Mechanical Ventilators

A modern mechanical ventilator, an automated version of the conventional ventilator, is a highly sophisticated life support machine. This modern mechanical ventilator offers a superior level of care with minimal manual intervention. It’s comprised of a computerized microprocessor-controlled hat that sits on top of a mobile trolley. There’s an array of screens, dials, data cables, power cords, and gas tubes. These ventilators allow for adjustments like how long inhalation for a patient lasts, how much air is received, how often the air is received, the concentration of oxygen within the air, how much pressure the patient’s lungs are inflated to, and the temperature and humidity of the air.

These ventilators are electronically controlled by a small embedded system to enable customized air delivery and high-precision monitoring of pressure through digital sensors. The use of an Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool for decision support of the caretakers could be the future of modern mechanical ventilators, as it can guide or help in decision-making regarding removal or continuation of a life support system as the timing of the ventilator removal is also important. Both premature extubation and prolonged ventilation are associated with higher mortality rates. These sophisticated machines may also feature digital controls for air pressure, and a humidifier to match air to body temperature and add moisture – offers the best chance of survival for the people that are most at risk.

How can Syrma help?

Syrma Technology, with over 40 years of design and manufacturing expertise, contributes to diverse markets. As an ISO 13485 certified electronics manufacturing company, Syrma is helping traditional medical device OEMs to bridge their technology gaps with their strong expertise in the electronics design and manufacturing space.

Over the years, we’ve worked with many global companies for designing and manufacturing various medical devices and applications. Most of these products are custom-made and meet the specific electrical, mechanical, and certification requirements of each client. This approach includes a thorough design-validation phase, followed by a pre-compliance and compliance test certification phase during development prior to mass manufacturing. We offer ample resources, printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) capabilities with full box-build integration, and functional testing development combined with minimal barriers-to-entry for international production and sales.

Syrma is in the process of developing its own ventilators to support the pandemic situation. We’re helping companies to re-engineer and improvise the ventilators from the open-source designs. Syrma also helps companies in getting their ventilators designed and validated by the regulating bodies to certify their end products.

To learn more about this topic, please contact us.

Syrma TechnologyRapid Development of Ventilators for COVID-19 Patients

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