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Sat Apr 4, 2020, 03:19 PM

A California rocket-maker will start producing simple ventilators


It’s not rocket science, but it could save your life.

Richard Branson-backed Virgin Orbit, with a factory nestled up to the airport in Long Beach, California, builds rockets to launch satellites from planes.

Now, with the coronavirus sweeping the globe, the company is stepping up to manufacture a simple ventilator on its own dime, driven by a windshield-wiper motor. Physicians at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) say it could provide a stop-gap solution.

“This one is going to basically be for all the patients who need a ventilator but do not need a top-line ventilator,” Dr. Govind Rajan, the director of clinical affairs at the UC Irvine Medical Center, says. “That will free up all these top-line ventilators for the sickest of the sick.”

A ventilator is a machine that effectively breathes for a patient; in this case, while their immune system fights off a viral infection for which medical science has few alternate treatments. The world’s supply of these machines is under heavy strain, especially as critical patients may spend weeks using the devices even as new cases arrive in hospitals.

Modern ventilators can get fairly complicated, incorporating sensors to monitor the patient and multiple settings to configure the machines to specific health needs. Ford and GM are re-tooling their production lines to manufacture machines like these, but it will take time: By the end of April, Ford says it will have produced 1,500 ventilators.

In contrast, New York City officials say their health system, the hardest hit in the US, will need 10 times as many—15,000 ventilators—by early April, when epidemiologists forecast the outbreak there to peak. As the virus continues to exact its toll, the demand for these machines is likely to keep rising.

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Reply A California rocket-maker will start producing simple ventilators (Original post)
flamingdem Apr 4 OP
Leghorn21 Apr 4 #1
flamingdem Apr 4 #2

Response to flamingdem (Original post)

Sat Apr 4, 2020, 03:27 PM

1. So glad to hear this! A "simple" vent is better than NO vent!!

Thanks, Orbit, and here's some coffee and processed sugar to keep you going


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Response to Leghorn21 (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 4, 2020, 03:38 PM

2. Rocket scientists


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