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Low-cost portable mechanical ventilator

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

Mechanical ventilator.png
Health Topic Child mortality
Classification Treatment
Scope Prototype
Location Africa, Asia, North America, South America


Problem being addressed[edit]

Respiratory distress syndrome and birth asphyxia are major contributors to neonatal mortality in resource-limited settings. This is largely due to the high price and maintenance costs of standard ventilators. The manual operation of most ventilators also requires the presence of a health care worker, which is also a limitation in low resource settings. Manual ventilators also pose the potential danger of over pressurizing the patient’s lungs, which can cause serious damage.

Detailed description of the solution[edit]

This ventilator delivers breath through the compression of a conventional bag-valve mask with a pivoting cam arm, thus eliminating the need for a human operator. The controls allow the operator to adjust the volume of air delivered and number of breaths per minute. An alarm will sound if airway pressure becomes dangerously high. It uses cheap mechanical parts, lowering price and maintenance costs. The device is expected to cost less than $200, opposed to $30,000 ventilators used in modern hospitals.

Designed by[edit]

  • Designed by: Boston University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Manufacturer (if different):
  • Manufacturer location: Cambridge, MA USA

When and where it was tested/implemented[edit]

Rearch regarding the need of the device was performed in Nicaragua in 2010.

Funding Source[edit]

Recipient of Grand Challenges Exploration Grant, Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology


Peer-reviewed publication[edit]

Al Husseini, A.M., Lee, H.J., Negrete, J., Powelson, S., Servi, A., Slocum, A., Saukkonen, J. (2010). “Design and prototyping of a low-cost portable mechanical ventilator”. Proceedings of the 2010 Design of Medical Devices Converences. Web. Retrieved January 2, 2014 from here.

Other internally generated reports[edit]

Externally generated reports[edit]

Grand Challenges in Global Health. (2010). Low-cost maternal and infant mechanical ventilators for developing countries. Retrieved December 5, 2013 from here.

MIT Media Relations. (July 2010). Students develop a low-cost portable ventilator. Retrieved December 5, 2013 from here.

Center for Integration of Medicine and Technology. (2011). Engineering medical devices at MIT: Development of a low-cost mechanical ventilator. Retrieved December 5, 2013 from here.

IP and copyright[edit]

Approval by regulatory bodies or standards boards[edit]

Africa +, Asia +, North America +  and South America +
Child mortality +