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Converting manual resuscitators to ventilators? Is it a good idea?
January 08 , 2021
Due to a shortage of ventilators amid Coronavirus crisis, most patients in hospitals, often have to rely on manually operated AMBU bags for artificial ventilation. The resuscitators, also called Ambu bags, are designed to be operated by hand, by trained technicians, to inflate patient lungs until a better device such as a ventilator becomes available. In operation, the technician inserts a tube into the patient’s airway and then pumps air into the lungs by squeezing and releasing the flexible pouch. These manual AMBU bags provide a short-term alternative when manually working AMBU bags but not a good option for COVID-19 patients who may need long-term ventilation. In that case, there are numerous efforts aimed at turning hand-operated bag-valve resuscitators into makeshift ventilators.

The usual approach to turning bag resuscitators into make-shift ventilators is to add a mechanical means of squeezing the bag. This device works on a small motor which is affordable and will automatically pump the bag at a required rate. However, people should be very careful as it is not a medical device, it can not be used without medical supervision.

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