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October 29
1932 - Highway 99 completed through Weldon Canyon, bypassing Ridge Route [story]
Hwy 99


A UCLA Biodesign Fellow has developed in one week, a working, low-cost ventilator prototype built from parts purchased at Home Depot. If additional development with medical-grade materials, further testing and clinical studies yield positive results, the device could have the potential to provide much-needed support in treating patients at scale during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mechanical ventilators in today’s hospitals are highly sophisticated, powerful devices, capable of adapting to the varying needs of patients with a wide range of pulmonary disorders, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. These full-featured ventilators are complex and expensive, costing from $30,000 to $50,000 and requiring dedicated software to administer high concentrations of oxygen to assist patients in respiratory distress.

But treatment of COVID-19 does not need that level of sophistication, and the new prototype – a sort of “ventilator-lite” – might provide the essential lifesaving functions at a fraction of the price.

Glen Meyerowitz, a graduate Electrical and Computer Engineering student at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, watched with alarm earlier this month as news reports and medical professionals predicted a severe shortage of ventilators needed to treat the projected surge in COVID-19 patients. He looked at research coming out of Seattle, China and other disease hot spots around the world, reviewed widely accepted treatment protocols and consulted with clinicians from around the U.S. to determine the exact functionalities needed in a device.

His review of clinical research and discussion with over a dozen medical professionals confirmed that COVID-19 patients often need treatment for acute respiratory distress syndrome, or ARDS, which has a much narrower treatment regime than that needed by many patients typically seen in an ICU. He set out to design a smaller, simpler device capable of providing the standard level of care for ARDS – the ARDSnet protocol – but without the extra features and price tag of a standard machine. Using parts purchased at Home Depot, he built his prototype in a little under one week.

Early tests were encouraging, and now Meyerowitz is in contact with several certified design and manufacturing firms to begin medical-grade production of the devices for testing at the UCLA Simulation Center in preparation for an IRB study at UCLA Health.

“Direct collaboration with UCLA Health’s clinical community is key to identifying and optimizing the specific features needed for this unique clinical challenge,” said Meyerowitz, adding that the team is working with UCLA Health’s Department of Anesthesiology to best replicate the conditions that clinicians are facing.

Although Meyerowitz and the team are not yet able to predict the final price tag, they expect the ventilators might be mass produced in the $1,000 range per unit.

 

Glen Meyerowitz – Follow him @glenmeyerowitz
This prototype simulates a ventilator that can be used in a hospital setting. An air compressor is used to provide the gas that would be used to ventilate a patient.

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1 Comment

  1. Tom Anderson says:

    Thank you for creating this life saving vent. Could you share the blueprints? It’s looking more and more each day that your invention could very well be the last resort in many cases. Global demand is depleting all alternatives to putting ventilations in the health care venues. Than you, bless you, stay safe!

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HIGHER EDUCATION LINKS
LOCAL COLLEGE HEADLINES
Tuesday, Oct 27, 2020
Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees will hold a joint meeting with the Associated Student Government via Zoom video conferencing Wednesday, Oct. 28, at 1:30 p.m., followed by the adopted budget workshop.
Tuesday, Oct 27, 2020
College of the Canyons has been ranked nationally No. 22 and 26 in The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine for enrolling the largest number of Hispanic students and granting the most degrees, respectively.
Monday, Oct 26, 2020
Three College of the Canyons architecture and interior design students have been selected to participate in the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Los Angeles 2x8 Student Competition, Exhibition and Scholarship program.
Monday, Oct 26, 2020
College of the Canyons proudly welcomes Eric Whitacre as the first featured guest in the School of Visual & Performing Arts Industry Insight Series on Monday, Oct. 26 starting at 7 p.m.
Thursday, Oct 22, 2020
California State University, Northridge will be home to one of the 1,000 vote centers across Los Angeles County that are open to the county’s voters in the days before the Nov. 3 presidential election.
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