One ventilator may be used for two coronavirus patients⁠— thanks to a significant feat by Indian researchers

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  • The researchers at the Visvesvaraya National Institute Of Technology, Nagpur (VNIT) have developed a two-way ventilator splitter to help combat ventilator shortage in India.
  • The idea is to help doctors to use a single ventilator for two COVID patients.
  • Recently, over 80 ‘made-in-India’ ventilators failed the tests at St George and JJ Hospital in Mumbai. The doctors at the hospital say that the machines did not provide 100% oxygen to the infected patients.
  • As of now, India has merely 48,000 ventilators, according to the data available by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
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Amid the increasing number of COVID-19 cases, the researchers at the Visvesvaraya National Institute Of Technology, Nagpur (VNIT) have developed a two-way ventilator splitter to help combat ventilator shortage in India.


The idea is to help doctors to use a single ventilator for two COVID patients.

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The splitters developed by researchers are being supplied to the Indira Gandhi Government Medical College and Hospital (IGGMC) so as to try using them along with the ventilators. The splitters to be used with ventilators were reportedly tested against the volume and pressure of the ventilators. This was after the doctors at the hospital said that they will soon face a shortage of ventilators. The trials have been conducted at a surgical intensive care unit of the hospital.

This is especially important at a time when shortage of ICU beds and ventilators is expected by mid-November. Recently, over 80 ‘ made-in-India’ ventilators failed the tests at St George and JJ Hospital in Mumbai. The doctors at the hospital say that the machines did not provide 100% oxygen to the infected patients.

According to a study conducted by ICMR (Indian Council for Medical Research), the peak of the pandemic has shifted by approximately 34 to 76 days — which has in turn provided time for healthcare workers to build on their resources and infrastructure. As of now, India has merely 48,000 ventilators, according to the data available by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

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Given the uncertainty around the COVID crisis, additional splitters can be attached to the inspiratory and expiratory parts of the ventilator, according to Dr Shelgaonkar of ICGMCH. This will allow the doctors to use a ventilator to four patients at a time. However, it may not be feasible, given the fact that the lung damage for all four may not necessarily be the same.

“But two patients with near similar lung pathology can easily be treated,” she told a local newspaper.

Meanwhile, the institute is also preparing a trolley — which can be operated remotely — to deliver food and other essentials in the quarantine zones across the AIIMS (All India Institute for Medical Sciences), Nagpur. The researchers are innovating an ultraviolet chamber for sanitisation of masks.

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See also:
An Indian COVID-19 vaccine made by Bharat Biotech is set to enter human trials

WHO says the coronavirus pandemic is far from over
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