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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Pandemic Ventilator at the Canada Wide Science Fair

I mentioned earlier that my son Jeff had built his own pandemic ventilator and entered it in a science fair. At the regional science fair he won; Award of Merit, Gold Medal in Senior Engineering, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Innovation Award, a Conestoga College Entrance Scholarship, a University of Guelph Entrance Scholarship, a University of Waterloo Entrance Scholarship and a Wilfrid Laurier University Entrance Scholarship.

He also got the opportunity to enter in the Canada Wide Science Fair and compete against the top entries from all of Canada. At the Canada Wide Science Fair he won an Honourable Mention in Engineering and the Engineers Without Borders prize. The Engineers Without Borders prize is awarded to a humanitarian engineering project that can improve the lives of people in developing nations. Jeff will also be invited to the next Engineers without Borders Canada national conference.

Here is a link to the WWSEF awards page.

Here is his project report.

Here is a picture of the ventilator in its case as it was presented at the Canada Wide Science Fair

Here is the compressor

Here is the PLC

This pandemic ventilator design has its own air source so it does not rely on hospital high-pressure air sources. This allows it to be able to be used in settings outside of the standard hospital ICU. It has a link to a PC via LabView software. It has a pressure transducer to measure airway pressures. There are alarms for airway overpressure, line occlusion and loss of air from the compressor. The PC keeps track of minute volume, total volume, respiratory rate, PLC connection status and alarm status. It also shows a real time pressure waveform. The PC could be located outside of an isolated patients room in order to reduce the number of times staff have to enter the isolated room. An external monitor such as this can reduce risk of staff exposure and also reduce personal protective equipment usage.

The video shows the ventilator operating with a lung simulator. The patient overpressure, line occlusion and loss of compressed air alarms are demonstrated.

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