Saturday, April 1

NIT Durgapur makes affordable ‘ventilators’ for Covid treatment

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National Institute of Technology (NIT), Durgapur, has designed a machine that can serve as a temporary substitute for ventilators to help in assisted breathing of patients with distress. The indigenous automated ‘Ambu Bag’ system, christened Pranesh, will now be tested in two government hospitals of the city after having been tested on ICU patients in Durgapur. The best part is that one machine can be readied in hours and the material cost, including assembly and fabrication, is around Rs 2,000 Ambu Bags, or artificial manual breathing units, have been in use for many years. But since they are manually operated, they can be cumbersome and chances of error are high. Moreover, paramedics have to continuously operate them, making their use conditional. Pranesh has made this system simple by using an automated jaw-like structure, which will palpate the bag, following the prescription of the intensivist medic attending to the critical patient.

“The Ambu bag, when fitted with the apparatus that our engineering faculty have designed along with a senior neuro surgeon, can be used to provide assisted ventilation through endotracheal tube. This will be of great use in case of rising numbers of Covid-19 patients if ventilators fall short,” said NIT director Anupam Basu.

Pranesh has been designed by Nirmal Baran Hui and Nilanjan Chattoraj from the departments of mechanical engineering and electronics and communication engineering. They have been guided by senior neuro surgeon Hardik Rajyaguru. “The machine has been tested repeatedly on ICU patients in Durgapur and we are satisfied with the results,” Rajyaguru said.

Basu has written to chief minister Mamata Banerjee about the innovation and is also in communication with the health department. The testing will start at NRS and RG Kar hospitals. Senior doctor Abhijit Chowdhury said, “As of now, I can only talk like a scientist interested in seeing such innovations being used. We are at the frontline of a critical fight and I feel enthused seeing such great work in the laboratories of the state.”


Source: Times of India

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