APRIL 3, 2020 UPDATE: Rice University has updated the ventilator project. Open source plans are now available at http://oedk.rice.edu/apollobvm/.
Natalie Dickman squeezed the bag again and again in an effort to revive a victim of cardiac arrest. After a mere 3 minutes, she could squeeze no more.
“The patient had been down for 30 minutes and there wasn’t much hope, unfortunately,” said the Rice University student, a soon-to-be graduate of the Brown School of Engineering, who was covering a shift with Houston EMS as required by a Rice class in emergency medical techniques. “I was allowed to bag, but they make you switch in EMS settings because they know you won’t be as accurate once you hit that 2-to-3-minute mark. You get really tired.”
She thought about that often over the last year when she and her senior teammates worked at Rice’s Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen (OEDK) to perfect a cost-effective device that automates the compression of manual bag valve masks, which feed fresh air to the lungs of intubated patients.
The senior capstone design team — bioengineering students Dickman, Carolina De Santiago, Karen Vasquez Ruiz and Aravind Sundaramraj, mechanical engineering and computational and applied mathematics student Tim Nonet and mechanical engineering student Madison Nasteff — is known as “Take a Breather.”
The team has developed a system that compresses the bags for hours, rather than minutes, with settings to feed the right amount of air to adults, children and infants. The device seems simple — a box with paddles that rhythmically squeeze the bulb a programmed amount — but the engineering behind it is not.
For more: http://news.rice.edu/2019/05/01/student-invention-gives-patients-the-breath-of-life-2/