Resource-scarce regions with serious COVID-19 outbreaks do not have enough ventilators to support critically ill patients, and these shortages are especially devastating in developing countries. To help alleviate this strain, we have designed and tested the accessible low-barrier in vivo-validated economical ventilator (ALIVE Vent), a COVID-19-inspired, cost-effective, open-source, in vivo-validated solution made from commercially available components. The ALIVE Vent operates using compressed oxygen and air to drive inspiration, while two solenoid valves ensure one-way flow and precise cycle timing. The device was functionally tested and profiled using a variable resistance and compliance artificial lung and validated in anesthetized large animals. Our functional test results revealed its effective operation under a wide variety of ventilation conditions defined by the American Association of Respiratory Care guidelines for ventilator stockpiling. The large animal test showed that our ventilator performed similarly if not better than a standard ventilator in maintaining optimal ventilation status. The FiO2, respiratory rate, inspiratory to expiratory time ratio, positive-end expiratory pressure, and peak inspiratory pressure were successfully maintained within normal, clinically validated ranges, and the animals were recovered without any complications. In regions with limited access to ventilators, the ALIVE Vent can help alleviate shortages, and we have ensured that all used materials are publicly available. While this pandemic has elucidated enormous global inequalities in healthcare, innovative, cost-effective solutions aimed at reducing socio-economic barriers, such as the ALIVE Vent, can help enable access to prompt healthcare and life saving technology on a global scale and beyond COVID-19.Supplementary Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s42242-021-00164-1.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s42242-021-00164-1
View details for PubMedID 34567825