The ventilator splitter is an adapter that can split a ventilator circuit for emergency use during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will allow multiple patients to be ventilated simultaneously in an emergency and can sustain patients for up to 12 hours until back-up is provided. The design will be 3D printed and should be used in times of limited ventilator supply.
It's intended for use in ICUs on patients with Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), such as COVID-19 patients.
Advantages of this technology:
- An innovative solution that would meet the increased demand of ventilators during a catastrophic surge in patients. In other words, the product has the potential to improve patient management
- It is a cost-effective technology to mass-produce
- Can keep patients alive for longer periods until individual ventilators can be offered
Implementing this technique doesn’t come without risks and this technology has its limitations. There is little knowledge on the required ventilator settings for patients with different lung pathology and lung compliance. Further research is required to provide individualized patient treatment because matching patients according to lung size and compliance is challenging especially in a crisis environment. However, the FDA has authorized ventilator splitting for emergency use during disasters such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, the technique was field implemented by Dr. Menes during the 2017 Las Vegas shooting and it succeeded in buying time and saving multiple lives.