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Galway team create system that lets two people be treated with one ventilator simultaneously

Researchers in Galway have designed a new ventilation system that allows two patients to be treated at once using just a single ventilator.

In what is hoped to be a breakthrough that could help tackle any ventilator shortage in hospitals, clinicians and medtech researchers at NUIG have created a system that lets ventilation be split between two patients, while able to individualize the breath size and the pressure levels required by each.

With health systems globally coming under significant pressure to ventilate COVID-19 patients, it is hoped this new system can help alleviate the pressure on resources in hospitals.

The system is being made available to health services globally on the website  www.galwayventshare.com.

It has been designed specifically so that it can be replicated using ventilator materials which are already in most hospitals.

The correct settings needed for each patient can be monitored through a tablet connected to the system, allowing greater confidence for doctors monitoring patients.

Ventilators have become on the single most sought after pieces of medical equipment in the world in recent weeks, with countries stocking up massive supplies for the Covid-19 pandemic, a dangerous respiratory diseases.

The group behind this project at NUIG is known as the Inspire Team, alumni of the BioInnovate medical device training programme at the university.

Commenting on the potential benefits to hospitals Professor John Laffey, NUIG Professor and Consultant at Galway University Hospitals, said that this idea is very much a last resort.

“Unfortunately, we have heard some reports of intensive care colleagues in other countries in the tragic situation of having to choose which one of two COVID-19 patients to offer ventilator support to.”

“This innovation will change that decision from one of having to decide which patient to provide this life supporting technology to allowing one to provide ventilatory support to both patients, buying time to allow one source additional ventilators.”

“This solution developed in Galway is an important advance over others because it allows one to control key ventilatory parameters for each patient separately, which is really important for a severe lung disease like COVID-19, and it monitors each patient separately.”

Speaking today, President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said that experts in the Galway medtech sector are playing an active part in the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Briain Kelly
Email: news@galwaydaily.com
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