COVID-19: FHWS develops personnel-saving ventilation devices that are used "automatically

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The international LUCSY lung care system project is designed regionally and can be applied worldwide

Members of the Würzburg-Schweinfurt University of Applied Sciences are involved in the COVID 19 pandemic. On the initiative of the Brazilian student Gustavo Pinto, they are currently realizing his idea of a cheap "respirator" that can be used worldwide and manufactured with local resources. It is being developed for situations in which closed ventilation systems are not (no longer) available for use in the care of COVID-19 patients or other situations requiring ventilation.

At the FHWS, the international development team project "LUCSY Lung Care System" includes the professors Dr.-Ing. Volker Bräutigam and Dr. Uwe Sponholz, the students Gustavo Pinto, Philip Schömig and Daniel Blümm, the technical officer Josef Zenker and the scientific assistant Dipl.-Ing. Maximilian Rosilius. They are testing different concepts for devices in order to be able to "automate" the operation of resuscitator bags in a personnel-saving way. Resuscitator bags are usually squeezed by a person by hand and depending on the depth of pressure, a defined volume of air is generated and thus ventilation is achieved for the patient. In addition, the air delivered can be enriched with oxygen via a connection on the resuscitator.

Since ventilation requires repeated compression, its use requires continuous staffing, is tiring and thus creates the risk of decreasing pressure or changing frequencies for the operator. In cooperation with the Leo Academy of the Leopoldina Hospital, Manuel Geuen, the training workshop of Jopp GmbH in Bad Neustadt an der Saale and the Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe in Schweinfurt, Professor Dr. Volker Bräutigam and other researchers are developing several devices in which the operation of the resuscitators can be automated. The corresponding mechanics are based on the one hand on the use of standard components, and on the other hand on additional elements which can be created using 3D printing methods if required.

The aim of the device is to compress the bag with an adjustable frequency and a selectable insertion depth, so that optimal ventilation can be guaranteed for the patient according to the procedure. This leads to a significant relief of the ventilating staff. Another advantage is the regularity of pressure frequency and depth during ventilation.
The aim is to publish the product design of the variants and versions as well as the parts lists and to search for channels to give hospitals worldwide the chance to get support and to be able to help with the need for bag ventilation.

Professor Dr. Volker Bräutigam: "The corona virus shows how vulnerable our structures are and how much a functioning healthcare system is needed, especially today. Intensive care units with high-tech ventilation facilities are currently a valuable resource. Especially in situations and regions where closed automated systems are not (no longer) available and manual ventilation must be used, the support provided by partial automation can provide added value. The FHWS wants to make a contribution at this point".