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Prevail NY offers free emergency mechanical ventilation system blueprints to help battle COVID-19


April 24, 2020  


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Photo: Prevail NY

JMA, a leader in 5G wireless technology and software-based communication systems, recently launched Prevail NY, an LLC dedicated to the design and manufacture of an emergency mechanical ventilation system. The company has released a free, open-source design for the device for manufacturers globally.

“Two weeks ago, we heard the plea around the world for more ventilators,” said Dave Jackson, president of transmission line systems at JMA. “We sat down to determine what we could do to help with our engineering talent and manufacturing capabilities. In only a week and a half, the team developed a manufacturable design that we call ‘Prevail NY.’”

JMA led the joint effort, which also includes Dr. John Callahan, a physician of internal medicine, and Syracuse University. In preclinical testing, the system was able to provide and restore ventilation in acute respiratory distress syndrome-damaged lungs.

In addition to developing the open-source design, Prevail NY estimates it can immediately manufacture “hundreds of systems per week. Other manufacturers can sign up to download the free design specifications and components list to quickly scale production”.

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“This emergency ventilation system takes advantage of existing medical equipment and marries it to a unique mechanical apparatus,” said Dr. Callahan. “I am excited about its familiarity to physicians around the world and that it has many of the same technical components that are common to existing ventilators. I am amazed by its creation in only 10 days.”

The device is designed to augment the existing ventilator supply in the short term, providing key basic ventilation functions to help prevent doctors from having to make life-and-death decisions due to ventilator shortages.

“The design supports rapid manufacturing by leveraging readily available parts such as motors, controllers and standard sheet metal capabilities meant for mass production. The approximate cost to produce is less than $500. It uses an FDA-approved manual resuscitator kit known as a bag valve mask or Ambu® bag, which hospitals carry in quantity. The system supports the low tidal volume ventilation strategy for acute respiratory distress syndrome, as used in patients with COVID-19. This device provides control of three key ventilation functions: respiratory rate (breaths per minute), tidal volume (how much air is delivered) and inspiratory/expiratory (inhale to exhale) ratio. The device is compatible with components that retain humidification and offer HEPA filtration”.

Although the design has not yet been authorized by emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or any other regulatory body, Prevail NY has “submitted an initial application to the FDA for emergency use authorization (EUA) and will submit additional information and documentation in the coming days, the hopes of securing an EUA for the device”.