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Negative pressure respirator

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This Global Health Medical Device is designed for or implemented within resource-limited settings - Browse the devices - Add a device

Health Topic Respiratory
Classification Treatment
Scope Prototype
Location Europe

Problem being addressed[edit]

Lack of respirators in the developing world, and it seems the developed world.

Detailed description of the solution[edit]

After further research which is happening in this Google doc and this helpful engineering Slack channel

Consider taking the widely used 1950s Both Respirator design, give it an appropriate technology makeover and release it under an open-source licence

Quantity Material Source Cost ($) Total ($)
1 Car Battery / local / repurposed 70.00 70.00
2 Battery charger / local / repurposed 23. 46
3 Sheets 8 x 4 ply local/ repurposed 25 75
1 Linear actuator 25 25
1 10l bucket 5 5
1 Dustbin 25 25
1 vacuum cleaner pipe 5 5
1 Used lorry or tractor inner tube 2 2
1 Box screws 2 2
1 Blocks of wood local/ repurposed 2 2
1 Gaffer tape /local 5 5
Total Cost ~$262

Designed by[edit]

  • Case designed by: Edward Both
  • Pump design under development, the initial idea is to use a car window motor or linear actuator (where available) to move an upturned bucket up and down at the surface of a dustbin of water.
  • Manufacturer: Makerspaces, DIY
  • Manufacturer location: Almost anywhere

When and where it was tested/implemented[edit]

Widely used in the 1940s and 1950's. Can be easily constructed from readily available materials. Less effective than modern mechanical ventilation techniques, but also less invasive

Funding Source[edit]

Unknown at this point. Philanthropists? Crowdfunding? Get in touch


Peer-reviewed publication[edit]

Other internally generated reports[edit]

Externally generated reports[edit]

History of the Iron lung

IP and copyright[edit]


Approval by regulatory bodies or standards boards[edit]

None at present, unless some odd legacy thing allows their use