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A multidisciplinary team of researchers, engineers and physicians from all over Spain has designed a turbine fan for the mechanical ventilation of coronavirus patients. The prototype, developed in just ten days, will be tested on an animal model of the Clinical Hospital of the Cardenal Herrera University as a final step to start human therapy.
Once validated, the ‘Acute-19’ fan will be available in open source to be produced anywhere in the world, as most components can be easily obtained or manufactured using 3D printing.
In the face of the health emergency by the SARS-COV-2 virus, patients with severe respiratory failure by secondary pathology to Covid-19 who require mechanical ventilation exceed the resources available to the healthcare system, because of the exponential increase of those affected in a short space of time, exposes the academic institution in a statement.
In this context, the magnitude of severe patients who will require mechanical ventilation is estimated at around 16% of infected patients. To increase fans available to the Spanish and global healthcare network, team experts (engineers, 3D design technicians, multi-specialty physicians and veterinary anesthesiologists) have networked for the past ten days to design a turbine fan that meets the needs.
This is an open source system; that is, with permission to use your source code, design documents, components or content, to promote your universal access and facilitate its manufacture anywhere in the world where it is needed. The contribution of the CEU UCH is the validation in animal model of the prototype, essential to initiate therapy in humans.
This phase will be held next week in the facilities of the Veterinary Clinical Hospital of Cardinal Herrera, as a step prior to its use in patients with Covid-19, as explained by the Professor of Veterinary Anesthesiology of the CEU UCH José Ignacio Redondo.
Unlike other fans, the ‘Acute-19’ is based on a turbine, similar to that of commercial models, which incorporates a set of sensors to accurately regulate the air outlet pressure that is sent to the patient. It is a ‘bilevel’ fan for pressure controlled ventilation that allows to adjust the parameters of inspiring pressure, such as control variable, breathing pressure, breathing rate and the inspiration-exhalation ratio.
An external flow meter connected to the circuit, 3D printable, measures the oxygen concentration for each inspiration (‘FiO2’), controlled by an ‘LPO (Low Pressure Oxygen) port. It also enables advanced external monitoring with the low-cost, portable ‘FluxMed GrH’ ventilatory mechanics monitoring system.
As soon as validation is complete, the plans will be hung on the project’http://acute19.com/ website, in open access, so that it can be manufactured anywhere in the world where it is needed.
The prototype has first been tested with respiratory simulation equipment approved in eight different lung models, for more than 48 hours in each. After these tests, the experimental phase in animal model of the first prototype manufactured will be the next days at the Veterinary Clinical Hospital with the collaboration of researchers from the veterinary anesthesiology area of this university José Ignacio Redondo and Jaime Viscasillas.
Study in two anesthetized shee
p This pilot study is performed on two anesthetized sheep to evaluate the usefulness of the fan in an induced model of respiratory distress with various patterns, monitoring spirometry and all vital signs in a non-invasive way.
When the prototype is validated, the production capacity of the ‘Acute-19’ will depend on the supply of materials, although the equipment is in contact with suppliers to make it easy to overcome the manufacture of hundreds of units that will be needed in the coming weeks.
According to the Spanish Society of Intensive Medicine, simulating a scenario with a virus attack rate of 35% and with 12 weeks of pandemic, the results in terms of occupied ICU beds, as well as fan use, would result in 257% above the total supposed capacity of Spanish UCIs and 165% higher than the fans currently available. Therefore, its immediate production is essential to treat all patients who need assisted ventilation in the coming weeks.
Dr. José Miguel Alonso Inigo, from the service of Anesthesiology, Resuscitation and Treatment of La Fe de Valencia and director of the Spanish Group of Experts in Non-Invasive Therapies (VMNI-CR Group) has coordinated this multidisciplinary team of researchers in fan design.
Salvador Díaz Lobato, an expert pneumologist on respiratory failure, and the urgencyologist Laura Sánchez Suárez, specializing in critical patient pathology, acute respiratory pathology and mechanical ventilation, have collaborated in medical supervision and safety analysis.