COVID-19: IIT-Hyderabad Offers An Alternative To Conventional Ventilators

Representational Image - Sakshi Post

HYDERABAD: In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian Institute of Technology-Hyderabad (IIT-H) has suggested the use of 'bag valve masks' as an alternative to ventilators. The small device can be used to deliver breathing support in emergency situations.

Known by its proprietor's name 'Ambu Bags', it is a hand-held device or a manual resuscitator which is commonly used to provide positive pressure ventilation to patients not getting adequate breath. What makes it unique is its affordability and portability and can also be produced in bulk for less than Rs 5,000.

“Our estimate of the cost is that it can be manufactured for less than Rs 5,000, or one-hundredth the cost of a conventional machine. The cost is so low that it can be considered a single-use device that will be given to a single patient, and never used again. It needs to be manufactured, however, on an industrial scale, in millions, within a short time of a few months. There have been several designs proposed within India itself,with IIT-H having at least one proposed design,” said Prof BS Murty, director, IIT Hyderabad, and Prof V Eswaran, department of mechanical and aerospace engineering, IIT Hyderabad, said.

Speaking about the advantages, the scientists said although the device is hand-powered and therefore not suitable for continuous use in ventilators.

However, making a similar device powered by an electrical source, the problem can be solved. The device due to its portability, can easily be used in villages and other areas without power supply and can be manufactured at inexpensive prices, they said.

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