• April 14, 2020

    RHU alumna and team experiment with new solution for sharing a single ventilator between four patients

    As world struggles with ventilator shortage due to the COVID-19 pandemic, RHU electrical engineering alumna, Eng. Alaa Salam is one member of a team working on the Portable Ventilator Project for the use of a single ventilator in aiding four patients at the same time. This was tested at Alaeddine Hospital through the use of modified T-piece splitters. The final test was performed April 7 on a Medtronic Covidien PB980 ventilator and was an immense success.



    “It has been done to prepare for crisis situations “war medicine” and not to be used under normal circumstances,” says Alaa. “Current test was done without monitoring actual tidal volume and flow for each patient. Further improvements would include adding proximal flow sensors and separate monitoring modules (which would show graphs, tabular data, visual and audio alarms) on inhalation breathing circuit tube.”



    There are specific ways to hook patients up that one has to adhere to. Patients need to have identical lungs anatomy wise. If one patient deteriorates, operator should take him/her off the shared vent and substitute them with a test lung also same size anatomically speaking (to maintain flow equilibrium). That patient can also be someone who improved (weaning should occur on separate ventilator). The settings for all 4 patients need to suit all 4 patients. If operator cannot alter settings but has other options (BiPAPs, CPAPs, ect...), he/she can use them, especially with less risky patients, and reserve the use of single ventilators for the extreme cases. Moreover, supervising the modification of a non-contact thermometer design, assembly and field test needs to be done to meet individual human temperature measurement needs.


    Dr. Ali Alaeddine and Dr. Ibrahim Nasreddine supervised the results of the conducted tests. A big thanks goes to them and to the entire medical staff at Alaeddine Hospital, Lebanon Response Team, Cube 3DP (for supplying the adjusted splitters) and to Mr. Adnan Al Kouch, Mr. Mohamad Ali Kassem, and Mr. Mohamad Al Hajj for the designs and PVC implementations. Proud!


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