A circuit doubling up on lung ventilators

This device was invented by UniBo professor Marco Ranieri of the Department of Medicine and Surgery together with some colleagues from Lombardy, and allows one ventilator to provide oxygen for two two patients.
lung ventilators

The prototype, created by Intersugical in Mirandola, was successfully tested at the Policlinico Sant’Orsola. 

Marco Ranieri, full professor at the Department of Medicine and Surgery, together with some colleagues from Lombardy, invented a circuit able to connect one single respirator to two different patients, instead of just one. Within only three days, Intersurgical, a company from Mirandola in the biomedical district of Modena, produced this prototype.

Lung respirators or ventilators are devices enabling air to be mechanically inhaled and exhaled from the lungs. These devices are essential when treating patients suffering from severe shortness of breath. This is why the COVID-19 outbreak, an illness causing pneumonia and severe shortness of breath, increased the demand for respirators in intensive care units in every hospital.

Hence, the idea of Marco Ranieri, who is also director of Anesthesia and Intensive Care Unit at the Policlinico Sant'Orsola. "With Antonio Pesenti, my peer from Lombardy, we were trying to solve this problem, and we looked at what had been done abroad and turned to colleagues for advice" says Ranieri. "We came to the hypothesis of a circuit allowing one device to ventilate two people at the same time. We then reached out to Intersurgical in Mirandola, who was very responsive and immediately produced a prototype".

The first model of this "double ventilator" was successfully tested yesterday at the Policlinico Sant'Orsola. "This success makes us very proud", stated Sergio Venturi, commissioner for the Coronavirus emergency in the Emilia-Romagna region. "In just 72 hours a company in Mirandola was able to provide a prototype which has already been tested at the Sant'Orsola Hospital: it works, and possibly, in the following days, we will place the orders, giving the device to the provinces most hit by the virus. This collaboration between healthcare professionals and the industry is extraordinary and will provide the healthcare system with a very valuable device that is virtually able to double the number of beds in intensive care units".

Published on: 25 March 2020