University of Illinois Researchers Publish Article
Describing Illinois RapidVent Emergency Ventilator
The design, testing, and validation of the Illinois RapidVent emergency ventilator has been published in the journal Plos One. The article, “Emergency Ventilator for COVID-19,” by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign researchers, is the first of its kind to report such details about an emergency ventilator that was designed, prototyped, and tested at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
The COVID-19 pandemic made clear the importance of emergency ventilator support—and that surges of people in respiratory distress or cases in areas where conventional, full-featured ventilators are unavailable can create a critical need for that support. On March 16, 2020, a team of more than 40 engineers, doctors, medical professionals, designers, and manufacturing experts from industry launched an Apollo 13-style project to help address that need.
The team focused on designing a device that could help the sickest patients to breathe, by plugging into the oxygen source available in most hospital rooms or into a tank of oxygen. Less than one week later, the team demonstrated a working prototype. Illinois RapidVent prototypes have run for more than 1.5 million breathing cycles, and the design had been licensed by more than 60 external organizations.
On May 12, 2020, Belkin announced that it was collaborating with The Grainger College of Engineering to produce an emergency ventilator based on the Illinois RapidVent concept, pending review and approval of the company’s Emergency Use Authorization application by the Food and Drug Administration.
"This is Apollo 13...
We have a team of brilliant and dedicated people that made something that actually works in less than one week. It’s very inspiring. We hope that we can engage even more people to work on the global response to COVID-19 as we continue to develop the prototype.”
William King, professor in The Grainger College of Engineering and the Carle Illinois College of Medicine
This project was made possible in part thanks to philanthropic support from alumni and friends to the Grainger Engineering Priority Fund. Gifts to the fund provide vital unrestricted support which allows the college to strategically invest in critical initiatives - including how we respond in times of global crisis.
The University of Illinois is publishing the accompanying preliminary results of research (“content”) from faculty and employees of the University of Illinois (individually “Author” or collectively “Authors”). This publication only applies to the content provided here and does not apply to any other information, products, publications, or services of the Authors.
The content is being released in this manner to maximize the potential public benefit during this urgent need for measures to respond to the SARS-CoV-2 (formerly CoVID-19) crisis, including promoting potential manufacturing pathways in light of the shortage of ventilators.
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