MIT Researchers Publish Design for $100 Ventilator
the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, according Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security , hospitals across the United States, and around the world, face the prospect of a shortage of life-saving ventilators in the coming days or weeks, if they are not already affected. The US government recently invoked the Defense Production Act in an effort to speed production and delivery of ventilator units by General Motors, but a number of other companies and organizations are actively pursuing alternative sources and products to mitigate the shortfall. Elon Musk announced yesterday that his company Tesla purchased 1,200 surplus ventilators from China, which will be distributed free of charge to hospitals in need. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology revived a project from several years ago to develop a makeshift ventilator using “ambu” resuscitation bags, widely available at hospitals around the world. The team intends to share its design instructions free of charge, which will allow others to construct their own unit, using US$400-500 in supplies. The units are not currently FDA-approved, but the team hopes to obtain approval in the future. Employees at 2 General Electric facilities in Massachusetts reportedly staged protests to demand that they be able to manufacture ventilators. The facilities, originally designed to produce aircraft jet engines, are currently sitting idle, and the workers want those facilities to be converted to manufacture ventilators. The protests follow an announcement by GE that it will lay off 10% of its “domestic aviation workforce” as well as “temporary” layoffs for maintenance personnel in an attempt to save the company money. Additionally, several other companies announced that they would begin producing a “simplified version of GE Healthcare’s” ventilators.