The respirator is the most wanted device in the world. What is this device and what is its role in our recent crisis?

The respirator is the most wanted device in the world. What is this device and what is its role in our recent crisis?

The respirator is the most wanted device in the world. What is this device and what is its role in our recent crisis
The respirator is the most wanted device in the world.
With humans preoccupied with their daily tasks, a surprising biological visitor, called “Covid-19,” came to us, who did not differentiate between victims and confuse the best health systems in the world to control him.

As countries search for an urgent vaccine to stem the epidemic, the virus has spread very quickly in our societies.

The authorities and health authorities did not have enough time to stop and take breaths targeting the throat and lungs, and no treatment so far, doctors can only control the symptoms of infection.

For mild cases, patients are required to take a long rest, increase fluid intake, and take painkillers if symptoms appear.

In critical situations, a vital medical device becomes indispensable to the hope of saving the lives of these patients called the Ventilator.

Brian Oliver, a researcher in respiratory disease at Sydney University of Technology in Australia, says:"The ventilator represents the difference between life and death for patients with COVED-19".

The respirator is the unknown soldier in our battle with the Corona virus that you live in today. Many major countries have been affected.

And the past years did not help her in caring about this sector properly and did not have enough time to prepare and equip a larger number of these devices. What is the ventilator, how did it start, and what is its role in the current crisis?

What is a respirator?

A respirator is a medical device that helps patients breathe, pushing oxygen to the lungs and removing carbon dioxide.

Air enters the lungs through a breathing tube that is connected to one end of the system and the other end passes through the mouth or nose. This tube insertion process is called intubation.

A brief history of the respirator

In the late nineteenth century, respirators were present but were less mechanically complex.

We used these devices widely during the spread of the polio virus epidemic that emerged in the 1920s.

As the virus infiltrates the nervous system and causes nerve tissue damage that leads to paralysis and freezing of muscles needed for respiration operations, so patients could not breathe properly.

The virus then inspired scientists to invent giant cylindrical reservoirs. The iron lung was a device - industrial respiratory system that works with negative pressure - that works by the pressure difference inside the tank.

When polio invaded Copenhagen in the 1950s, the method of industrial respiration was more efficient than its predecessors.

Where an anesthesiologist named Bjorn Apsen installed a new protocol in densely populated hospitals, with 1,500 medical students ventilating polio patients with an inflatable bag.

They were manually pumping air into the lung, and before the end of the 1950s, an American inventor named Forest Bird invented the first reliable respirator among doctors.

The device was the size of a shoe box, which made its size proportional to hospital beds, and Bird's invention was credited with saving millions of sick lives.

Today, ventilators are becoming smaller and more complex, and are often used during surgeries to support a patient's breathing upon anesthesia.

It is also necessary for patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and patient care has become easier thanks to the major technical updates that have occurred.

Inside, we see remote sensors, electrical circuits and integrated alarms inside to alert health care workers about the patient's breathing and contributed greatly to the development of the respiratory process.

What is a human lung? How does it work?

Human lungs contain millions of alveoli, says Elena Schneider, a lung health expert at the University of Melbourne in Australia:"Each person has about 300 million alveoli, each surrounded by very small blood vessels."

As gases are exchanged inside these blood vessels, she adds:"When we breathe air, the alveoli are filled like a balloon."

The oxygen passes through the blood vessels and is transported to all parts of the body, while the carbon dioxide in the blood flows into these bags and for all these processes to happen the body must create a difference in pressure.

During the breathing process, the chest and abdomen muscles, which reduce the pressure inside, contract.

It allows the lungs to expand and fill with air while the opposite occurs in the process of exhalation, the muscles relax and the pressure on the lungs increases, which pushes the carbon dioxide out.

Why do Covid-19 patients need a respirator?

When infected with the Covid-19 virus, these processes that occur inside the lungs are disrupted as the virus infects the alveoli, causing the body to seek help from the immune system by producing antibodies to fight the virus.

But sometimes the response can go overboard and damage the blood tissue.

Damaged tissues cause fluid and blood cells to leak into the alveoli - like filling balloons with water - and thus reduce the amount of oxygen that these alveoli carry. This condition is called pneumonia and can be fatal.

When doctors see signs of respiratory failure, such as an increase in respiratory rate and elevated levels of carbon dioxide in the blood, ventilators are placed.

A breathing period may take up to a week for the patient to start breathing through the lungs again, according to a scientific report published in the British Guardian newspaper.

Some doctors are currently wondering what are the actual reasons for using respirators in some patients with low levels of oxygen in the blood.

According to their opinions, doctors may benefit from oxygen masks or other procedures that are less dangerous to the patient's health before switching to a ventilator.

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Major global decrease in respirators

Major global decrease in respirators
Major global decrease in respirators

Health ministries around the world are facing a dreadful respiratory deficiency due to the outbreak of Covid-19 virus.

Last year, there were 77,000 respirators to satisfy the entire global market! Really scary number, while New York City alone may need at least 30,000 respirators.

No one has a clear idea of ​​the total global demand for these devices before the end of the pandemic.

Global estimates indicate that about 5 of Covid-19 patients will need intensive care, that is, the need for ventilators, this number may seem small.

But doctors all over the world warn that health care systems cannot tolerate more patients if the pandemic continues at this rate.

Because of the acute shortage of respiratory equipment in the most affected countries such as Italy, health care workers were the ones to choose who would live based on the patients ’age and medical records.

While countries discover that they do not have enough of these devices, the Covid-19 pandemic has been inspiring to create and produce new and improved breathing devices.

You may be able to keep this virus under control until an effective vaccine is produced to curb and eliminate this virus.

What did Medtronic Corporation do?

Medtronic unveiled one of the most famous manufacturers of industrial respiratory devices, at the end of March, all specifications and confidential documents of their current and future designs for respirators on its website for all companies interested in manufacturing these devices.

Three days ago, the FDA gave formal approval to manufacture a new industrial respirator called "Coventor".

It is a new design that was first developed by researchers and students at the University of Minnesota Medical School in America.

The project seeks to manufacture new respirators that can provide the same level of care as the existing respirators, but at a much lower cost and with very high productivity.

Its cost is $ 1,000 per device compared to the current cost of respirators which is $ 20,000 to $ 25,000 per device.

The University of Minnesota has also announced that it will make Coventor specifications open source so they can be manufactured globally.

Ultimately, the ventilator became a symbol of hope for health care workers around the world.

After sixty years of operating the respiratory system inside hospitals efficiently and effectively, everyone calls this device again to perform the most difficult task in the twenty-first century ... saving humanity as a whole.

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