While the world is facing Covid 19 Pandemic, a Krugersdorp-based doctor took a little help from his friends so that they can innovate emergency ventilators in South Africa.
Anode Beer, who is a medical practitioner, with the expert help of Anaesthetist Estine Neuhoff and Maritz Botha and Gerry Geel, who are both electronic engineers, are continuing with their work of perfecting the ventilation device they have been working on. The device can augment the capacity of the conventional ventilator tenfold that is a fraction of the total cost.
The ventilator estimations of De Beer, as the hospital uses to go for $50000, which is about R950000; however, the current cost is about R4000 to make it. The device is weatherproof, compact, it is powered by conventional electricity, whether solar power or battery, can use any oxygen source. They intend to do the next test in a swimming pool to see if it will still work.
Easily Available Parts to make the emergency ventilators
The device uses the regular bag-valve ask. It is available in any healthcare ambulances and institutions and hence converting it into a mechanical ventilator. When the device is attached to the oxygen sources, a volume-controlled capacity of air is delivered repeatedly to the incubated intervals; hence the desired amount the patient needs is offered.
While at the Cure Day Hospital in Wilgeheuwel in Johannesburg, while he, together with his friends, we’re demonstrating this ventilator device to the News 24 on Monday, he said, “This is an emergency ventilator prototype which is entirely scalable. The only thing that’s hindering us at the moment is getting the components we need during the lockdown.
About The Ventilator
Geel was using any parts he could get while creating his prototype out of the wood from his garage during morning hours, doing is as quietly as he could so that he could not wake his neighbors up.
“The mechanism we chose is from a well-known company that supplies it to sports car manufacturers. The unit has a track record of lasting over eight years,” he further said that “These wiper units get tested on cars with snow on the windshields, so that’s why we chose this specific mechanism. In essence, it never has to be serviced; it never has to be oiled or greased, so that was the critical consideration for us.”
Built-in Africa for Africa
“This is something that was built in Africa for Africa. One of the biggest problems we have on the continent is access to power. This unit was designed to work in any situation. You can connect it to a car battery. So this unit can be used in a field hospital. Where it could run four to six ventilators for up to two days on one battery.”
These are one of innovations that Africans have come up with during this hard time. There are many other inventions in other African countries as well. With these type of ventilators, doctors are confident that they can help a patient survive. And totally recover back to normal life!