Medical

Low-Cost, Open-Source 'Acute Shortage' Ventilator

Researchers at the DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory  have invented an emergency ventilator that could help save the lives of patients with COVID-19. The ventilator uses standard parts that cost less than $400 and could be an affordable option when more sophisticated technology is not available, in short supply, or too expensive. SLAC’s acute shortage ventilator is based on a simple model, but it adds a mechanism that automatically squeezes a self-inflating bag. The system also incorporates inexpensive electronic pressure sensors and microcomputers with software that precisely controls the squeeze. The microcomputers drive a small control panel, and operators can control the system with that or with a laptop computer.