Case Studies

Due to a shortage of ventilators, groups have begun to modify available breathing machines, such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines to treat Covid-19 patients. CPAP machines, used to treat sleep apnea, are relatively plentiful. Their conversion provides real-world examples of how individuals, private groups, hospital administrators, public health officials are pitching in to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

PPE shortage has led to additional innovation including the use of vaporized hydrogen peroxide to sterilize N95 masks and other PPEs.

convert a CPAP machine to a ventilator

Take a Breather

Rice University Engineering Automated Breathing Bag

Rice engineering majors breathe new life into ventilators.

Rice University engineering students working with a Baylor College of Medicine professor develop a bag valve mask compressor to automate the difficult task of feeding fresh air to patients' lungs, often for hours at a time. The device could help save lives in low-resource settings and in emergency situations.

The team, named Take a Breather, developed a rack and pinion compression mechanism in order to automate a bag valve mask. The rack and pinion translates rotational motion of the motor to linear compression. Compression arms use triangle pressing plates that move along rails for the best stability and power. Adjustable holders for the front and back are utilized, allowing the device to be adaptable for all bag value masks.

Rice engineering majors breathe new life into ventilators in low-resource settings