TAMPA, Florida – Three University of South Florida students hope to put their vital invention in hospitals to help address the global ventilator shortage, an issue that has come to light at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. last year.
The global health crisis has pushed ventilators to their limits, forcing doctors to choose who to treat.
So when the Moffitt Cancer Center came to an USF engineering class looking for solutions to the ventilator shortage, three students had a new idea.
âWe saw thousands of people who weren’t able to get proper care because there were just too many people and a limited number of ventilators,â said Carolyna Yamamoto Alves Pinto, engineering graduate USF Biomedical.
Today graduates in biomedical engineering, Carolyna Yamamoto Alves Pinto, Jacob Yarinsky and Abby Blocker developed the Eucovent. It connects to a ventilator and distributes the air between two or more patients.
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âBefore, patients had to be very similar in size, have very similar ventilation needs. But ours, now it can be totally different. It can be as customizable as it gets. There are a few small limitations, but it is. is a big step compared to previous solutions, âYarinsky said.
The life-saving device doubles the existing ventilation capacity of a hospital and is designed to help beyond the current public health crisis.
âNot only can this apply to pandemic but also any kind of natural disaster, other disasters like mass shooting, they had issues with ventilators in the past during those,â said Blocker.
They said they were also thinking of Eucovent to help in low-resource areas like rural hospitals and in the military.
“It’s just a problem that we don’t hear about how limited the supply of ventilators to the hospital is not only by the storage in the space they have, but also by the money, as the fans are very expensive machines, âsaid Yamamoto Alves. Pinto.
Eucovent still needs animal and clinical testing, so the three former classmates said it was their goal to help bring their invention to the real world.
âIt’s an unreal feeling. That’s definitely why I became a biomedical engineer to, you know, not only, you know, help people, but to create things that can help people,â Yarinsky said.
The graduates said a patent was pending on Eucovent and the device would need FDA approval before it could be sent to hospitals. Blocker said countries like India that have been hit hard by the pandemic have also asked them to use Eucovent.
âWe don’t want to abandon the project just yet. We want to keep working so that we can get it out there,â Blocker said.