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U of I researchers seek approval for prototype ventilator

U of I researchers seek approval for prototype ventilator

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have produced a prototype ventilator to address the expected surge of demand for such products due to the new coronavirus pandemic.

The emergency ventilator, which still requires federal approval, would plug into the oxygen source available in most hospital rooms or could plug into a tank of oxygen. Focused testing in the laboratory so far has shown the device performs equally to commercial products.

“Our team is living the Apollo 13 movie,” project leader William King said in a statement. “We have dropped everything else to work around the clock to help respond to the COVID-19 crisis.”

The prototype was created by a team of about 40 engineers, students and physicians at Carle Hospital.

“Ventilators are necessary to help patients get more oxygen,” said Dr. Karen White, an intensivist at Carle Foundation Hospital and a faculty member in the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. “That’s why we’re optimistic that by further developing the (prototype ventilator) we can develop more options for our sickest patients.”


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