March 25, 2020

WORTH A TRY: Creating a plan to reprogram smart CPAP machines to become emergency ventilators. “While CPAP machines are not ventilators, and don’t have software to deliver assist control or pressure control ventilation, they may contain much of the hardware needed for certain types of ventilation. What they don’t have is the software. Normal CPAP machines deliver a max pressure of 20cm of water. (That’s not much, about 2% of atmospheric pressure.) Many ventilation patients use much less than that, but serious ARDS patients need that and more. Ventilators usually are rated to deliver over 40cm, though they don’t normally go to that level, as it’s dangerous. Researchers have discovered, though, that the blowers used in some CPAP models are capable of 45cm and up to 400 l/min of airflow, much more than is needed for CPAP, and enough for ventilating many ARDS patients.”

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