Nigeria: Ilaro Poly produces ventilator to save more coronavirus patients from dying
London, April 17, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Ilaro Poly-The Federal Polytechnic Ilaro, Ogun State, South West Nigeria, has manufactured a ventilator using locally sourced materials in a bid to save more lives of coronavirus patients in Nigeria
Health authorities around the world are trying to find ways to fill their hospitals with more ventilators to cope with increasing numbers of coronavirus patients.
Prof David Story, deputy director of the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Integrated Critical Care, and a staff anaesthetist at Austin Hospital says “without the ventilators, critical coronavirus patients will die,”
Rector of the Institution, Olusegun Aluko, said it took the team seven days to produce the widely sought medical equipment.
Speaking on Television Continental on Thursday, he said, as the global demand for ventilator rises amid the coronavirus pandemic, he tasked a team of professionals including doctors and engineers in the institution to find a solution to the shortage of ventilators in the country.
He explained that after days of hard work, the team was able to design a functional ventilator with less than one million naira.
He said, “It took us one week through trial and error. Now there is no trial again; all the information that we used are documented. All we just need to do now is to feed them into the system, start mass producing and coupling them.
“If we can produce this one within one week, with all the research, that means in a matter of two days we should be able to produce one.”
He added that the institution has the wherewithal to train other members of staff of institutions across the country.
This, he believed, would help to expand the scope of mass production of ventilators in Nigeria.
Describing how the equipment works, an electrical engineer and member of the team, Oloyede Olukayode, said, “The system is an electro-mechanical device that uses electronic components because of its complexity.
“We have different voltages working for different parts of the system. We have the electric motor and we have the display and we have the device through which we get air or oxygen into the patient.”
What is a ventilator and how does it work?
A mechanical ventilator is a machine that’s used to support patients with severe respiratory conditions that impact the lungs, including pneumonia.
Before a patient is placed on a ventilator, Day says medical staff – often anaesthetists – will perform a procedure called intubation.
After a patient is sedated and given a muscle relaxant, a tube is placed through the mouth and into the windpipe.
Day says the procedure is routine but, with Covid-19 patients, medical staff need to take extreme precautions to make sure they do not become infected with the virus.
“We have people almost in full hazmat suits,” he says.
The breathing tube is then attached to the ventilator and medical staff can adjust the rate that it pushes the air and oxygen into the lungs, and adjust the oxygen mix.