Scientists develop indigenous ventilator under Project Praana

Scientists and students at IISc Bengaluru have developed a prototype for indigenous ventilator in light of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in India.

Ventilator

Ventilator is a medical equipment that provides mechanical ventilation support to patients who is either unable to breathe or is breathing insufficiently. The ventilator pushes breathable air in and out of the patient’s lungs. It is necessary for aiding COVID-19 patients who have progressed onto more advanced stages of the disease.

Importance of Ventilators

Currently, countries across the world are racing to increase their stock of ventilators. Though it is a relatively simple machine to design, the issue is reliability. If a ventilator stops operating, the patient is likely to die. Hence it requires extensive testing. Also, countries like India are greatly dependent on imports. Eg: India imports a huge portion of ventilators and its components from Switzerland. In the current scenario where the demand is high and the transport restrictions are being put into place, supplies are at risk of being disrupted.

About the Prototype

The ventilator prototype was designed under Project Praana of IISc Bengaluru. It was made using components already available in the market- such as pressure sensors used in automobile industry and solenoid filter valves used in RO water filters. The prototype mixes medical grade oxygen with compressed air in food grade containers using PLC board and Raspberry Pi computer for controlling the pressure, composition and flow parameters.

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