While the entire world has been gripped with the Coronavirus pandemic, an ingenious doctor from Canada devised a method to transform one Ventilator into 4 that could be used to save multiple patients. Since the rise of the virus was quite sudden and unexpected, most world governments have been quite unable to deal with the widespread outbreak as it were.
Dr. Alain Gaithier of Ontario was one of the many anesthetists in Ontario who was worried about the lack of ventilators which could be a problem when patients came in numbers in the rural region. No one was safe from the virus, and in the event of another outbreak, people needed to be ready for anything.
So this ingenious doctor devised an upgrade to the one ventilator making it capable enough to deal with 4 people. The original idea was conceived by two American scientists back in 2006 and was actually applied successfully to the Las Vegas shootings in 2017. In under ten minutes, Gaithier used some extra tubes to link up one Ventilator to serve more than a couple of patients.
The working of the system is simple- two people with almost the same dimensions and lung capacity are attached via tubes to the same Ventilator which is then motorized into working at double the force with which it normally did.
While imperfect, Gauthier said that “if it comes to last resort, I’m prepared to use it.”
Gauthier’s colleague, Alan Drummond, excitedly shared images of the rigged ventilator on Twitter, jokingly calling Gauthier “an evil genius.” He wrote:
“So in ten minutes the evil genius who is one of our GP anesthetists (with a Ph.D. in diaphragmatic mechanics) increased our rural hospitals’ ventilator capacity from one to nine!!!”
Not just his colleague, but even the billionaire Elon Musk expressed his admiration and respect for the doctor in one of his many tweets.
Continuing, Musk noted that perhaps it could one day lead to a more effective system to ensure that patients breathe. He added:
“A single computer, pump & pressure accumulator would be fine for many patients, but ideally individual valves per patient to personalize care & avoid cross-flow risk.”
And yet, Gaithier is least interested in fame and money for this invention. His hospital is located in a region with 60,000 individuals of which most suffer from one or the other pulmonary ailment.
“A lot of work is being done by pretty much everyone,” he stressed.
With the virus afflicting several humans at a single go, the doctors are worried that they might have to come across a point where euthanasia would be on the cards to save lesser severe cases.
“We are concerned, we’re trying to get ready as much as possible,” Gauthier said. To this ingenious doctor, we hope that his DIY upgrade would prevent the fatal solution from being a possibility.
Featured image: Alan Drummond