Washington: NASA engineers have designed a brand new low-cost high-pressure ventilator tailor-made particularly to deal with COVID-19 sufferers.
The machine, referred to as VITAL (Ventilator Intervention Know-how Accessible Regionally), handed a crucial take a look at on April 21 on the Icahn Faculty of Drugs at Mount Sinai in New York — an epicentre of COVID-19 in america, NASA stated on Thursday.
The machine now could be beneath evaluation for an emergency use authorization by the US Meals and Drug Administration (FDA), the US area company stated.
VITAL is designed to deal with sufferers with milder signs, thereby maintaining the nation’s restricted provide of conventional ventilators obtainable for sufferers with extra extreme COVID-19 signs.
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The machine may be constructed quicker and maintained extra simply than a standard ventilator, and includes far fewer components, making it extra economical to provide, NASA stated.
Developed by engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California, the machine was designed to make use of components presently obtainable to potential producers however not compete with the prevailing provide chain of presently made ventilators.
“We specialise in spacecraft, not medical-device manufacturing,” stated JPL Director Michael Watkins.
“But excellent engineering, rigorous testing and rapid prototyping are some of our specialties. When people at JPL realised they might have what it takes to support the medical community and the broader community, they felt it was their duty to share their ingenuity, expertise and drive,” Watkins stated.
Like all ventilators, VITAL requires sufferers to be sedated and an oxygen tube inserted into their airway to breathe.
The brand new machine wouldn’t substitute present hospital ventilators, which might final years and are constructed to handle a broader vary of medical points.
As a substitute, VITAL is meant to final three to 4 months and is particularly tailor-made for COVID-19 sufferers.
“Intensive care units are seeing COVID-19 patients who require highly dynamic ventilators,” stated J.D. Polk, NASA’s Chief Well being and Medical Officer.
“The intention with VITAL is to decrease the likelihood patients will get to that advanced stage of the disease and require more advanced ventilator assistance.”
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