Responding to a looming global shortage of ventilators, a team from Oregon Health & Science University has come up a low-cost version that can be widely produced with 3D printing technology.
Albert Chi, M.D., M.S.E., an OHSU trauma surgeon who previously pioneered 3D-printed prosthetics for children, is leading the effort. As COVID-19 spread inexorably across the globe, health care workers worried that they would run short of ventilators needed to keep the sickest patients alive.
“The goal is to provide it for free to whoever needs it,” said Chi, an associate professor of surgery (trauma, critical care and acute care surgery) in the OHSU School of Medicine.
The design is so straightforward that it doesn’t require electricity, only the type of standard oxygen tank broadly available at hospitals and clinics worldwide. Depending on the printer, a single ventilator can be manufactured within three to eight hours and made operational with