MIT shares details of emergency ventilator developed by students nearly a decade ago

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

The MIT Emergency Ventilator (E-Vent) is one of several potential solutions to the anticipated global lack of ventilators. Simply put, it is a manual Ambu-bag ventilator that is automated through the use of a mechanical device. As mentioned, Ambu-bags are common in critical care environments but there apparently isn’t any clinical evidence regarding their safety over longer periods of use like days or weeks.

MIT said its E-Vent is anticipated to be useful in scenarios where it can free up existing ventilator supply or in life-or-death situations where there is no other option, adding that any solution should only be used in a healthcare setting that is being monitored by a clinical professional.

MIT is publishing its open source design as a safety reference for those with the capabilities to manufacture ventilators. As you’ve no doubt heard, several unrelated companies including Tesla, 3M, GE and Ford have committed to manufacturing ventilators and other in-demand medical supplies like surgical masks.

The university is also submitting its design to the FDA for review under the Emergency Use Authorization authority.

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Isn't a ventiator a glorified CPAP machine? There are literally millions of cpap machines on shelves and in use by millions of people.
No it's not, or at least mine isn't. A ventilator is a forced air device that manually inflates the lungs and lets the lungs deflate with body pressure.

A CPAP is a forced air machine for shallow breathers that basically adds volume to your incoming airflow. You have to forcibly exhale against the air pressure. The better ones have a timed (over the space of minutes) decrease in the air flow so you're breathing normally like there wasn't a room fan on high strapped to your face until the cycle repeats.

You may be right though with being able to provide some increased air flow enough to keep some alive until the breathing crisis period passes or a ventilator becomes available. I better get mine out of the garage in case they're asked for after your suggestion.
Just walked upstairs and looked at Tucker from 4 hours ago. Nurse in New York said they could use CPAPs to free up some ventilators. Don't know if anyone in New York watches Fox enough to hear that, but you may want to call an info hotline in your area and see if they want yours if you have one.


TS Rookie
Isn't a ventiator a glorified CPAP machine? There are literally millions of cpap machines on shelves and in use by millions of people.
Ventilators generally need to be bi directional. A CPAP, as the name suggests, is continual pressure. It's good for keeping an airway open, which in the case of patients with airways that are obstructed, are sufficient.

But if a patient can't breath up on their own, a CPAP is unlikely to help for very long. The turbulence might give just enough in some cases, but it's very distant from ideal for something as essential as breathing.