Scientists Adnan Qamar and Ahad Sayed from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology of Saudi Arabia became the winners of the COVID-19 Innovation Challenge with their portable Ventibag installation. It is designed to extract oxygen from the surrounding air in order to supply it to the patient’s breathing mask with an increased concentration. If the device goes into production, it will allow many people with respiratory diseases to stay at home and not occupy beds in hospitals.

Ventilators, including simplified home versions for those who are not ill, but have difficulty breathing, do not produce oxygen. They get it from the central system in the hospital, or from cylinders that need to be refilled. This is a serious limitation, plus considerable costs, but there is another factor – it is impossible to allow crowding of people if there are carriers of infection among them. However, this is exactly what happens in hospitals, because there is no other way for patients to get vital oxygen.

The Ventibag device is based on technology that is already used in airliners. This is a fan that compresses and pumps atmospheric air through a chamber with the mineral zeolite. It absorbs nitrogen and other gases, and oxygen with a concentration of up to 96% is obtained at the output. With the help of sensors on the patient’s body, the machine analyzes his breathing and regulates the oxygen supply, but this can also be done manually using the control panel. The authors of the development hope that it will help relieve medical staff and free up hospitals for serious patients.

Source – KAUST