Open Source Ventilator Requirements + Value Proposition

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Requirement is based on MIT E-Vent [1]:

  1. No single point of failure is allowed. Must have a backup such as a manual bag valve. Failure conditions must permit conversion to manual clinician override, i.e. if automatic ventilation fails, the conversion to manual ventilation must be immediate.
  2. Adjustable tidal volume - Tidal Volume (air volume pushed into lung): between 200 – 800 mL based on patient weight
  3. Adjustable breath rate - BPM (breaths per minute): between 8 – 30 BPM
  4. Adjustable pressure
  5. Bilevel or multilevel - can vary air pressure for inhale and exhale.
  6. Adjustable I/E ratio - I/E Ratio (inspiratory/expiration time ratio): recommended to start around 1:2; best if adjustable between range of 1:1 – 1:4*
  7. Airway pressure must be monitored
  8. Maximum pressure should be limited to 40 cm H2O at any time; Plateau pressure should be limited to max 30 cm H2O. The use of a passive mechanical blow-off valve fixed at 40 cm H2O is strongly recommended
  9. Ventilation on room air is better than no ventilation at all. Blending of oxygen and air gas mixture to adjust FiO2 is not important in an emergency scenario. It is certainly nice to have that ability and can easily be implemented with a oxygen / air gas blender that some hospitals already have.
  10. Covid-19 can get aerosolized (airborne), so HEPA filtration on the patient’s exhalation is required or between the ventilator unit and the patient (at the end of the endotracheal tube) to protect clinical staff from certain infection. In-line HEPA filters can usually be purchased alongside manual resuscitator bags.
  11. Patients must be under the management of a trained clinician.
  12. Clinicians require readings of plateau pressure and PEEP (refer to clinical documentation tab). PEEP of 5-15 cm H2O required; many patients need 10-15 cmH2O
  13. Heat and moisture exchanger should be used in line with the breathing circuit.
  14. Failure conditions must result in an alarm.
  15. This is a minimal requirement set for emergency use. Equipment designed for more regular use, even if for emerging markets, will require additional features to be used on a regular basis.