INTENSIVE CARE UNITS RESPIRATORS TO BEAT COVID-19

Maria Jose Herrero Villa
UC3M

Abstract
Researchers and technicians from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid are collaborating with the Artificial Circulation Laboratory of the Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón on a project to develop and manufacture two prototypes of a ventilator for the Intensive Care Units.
The aim is to develop a new model of respirator specifically for ICU that will allow them to be manufactured relatively easily, and therefore more quickly and economically, to increase the supply of this critical equipment, which is essential for attending the most serious patients in Covid19 in ICUs in public hospitals.
The project is structured in the following phases:
- design and construction of prototypes;
- validation tests on animals and people;
- Authorization phase, with the preparation of the technical file and the completion of the necessary procedures for its manufacture and use (CE marking).
On April 1st, the Carlos III University Foundation organized a fundraising campaign to finance the project with a target amount of 50.000 euros. It was achieved in 24 hours and so far, 67,000 euros have been received from more than 1,600 donors.
Several companies and institutions are engaged with the Project through:
• direct donations from institutions;
• financial support through match-funding programs with their employees;
• offering their logistic and production capacities for different parts of the prototypes;
• collaborating in the industrial definition of the respirator.
In addition, the project promoters are working on engaging some industrial firms to set up manufacturing capacity for the respirator once the authorization phase has been completed.
Some reasons for this initiative and its importance for the participants are:
• it will allow to give a faster and cheaper response to COVID-19 patients, especially for those who have very delicate lung diseases.
• It will improve the situation of hospital centers now. And in the future, when the health emergency disappears, only CE marked products will remain in our system and continue to be useful.
• This project can contribute to the creation of a national industry with a certain production capacity and autonomy to respond to needs such as today.
• It will help to face new waves of the virus, which are a real possibility until there is a massive vaccine.