Source: eKapija | Wednesday, 15.04.2020.| 15:22
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Alternative Respirators from Kragujevac for Patients with Milder Symptoms

(Photo: IMW Institut)
The respirator, a life-saving device, is currently one of the most demanded products in the world. In order to help our state and coronavirus patients, a team of engineers from the Institute for Materials and Welding (IMW) of the MIND Group and the Faculty of Engineering Sciences in Kragujevac have made three prototypes of alternative respirators.

These are respirators for patients with milder symptoms, who need assistance with breathing, and which can work in home conditions, on the way to the hospital, or in the field, where there are no conditions for other types of medical help.

The alternative respirator replaces the medical staff in the manual pumping of air, and the patient gets oxygen through an autonomous activity of the balloon, based on the set parameters. The advantage of these respirators is that they are simple to use and produce and are cheaper than those used in hospitals, the Institute says for our portal.

– The main difference is that conventional respirators are used on patients with severe symptoms. Patients are usually intubated and a range of parameters are monitored that are crucial to keeping the patient alive.

(Photo: IMW Institut)
The alternative ones feature a balloon with a mask for external use, which functions with the help of a developed automated electromechanical device. With further development and tests, the respirators will be fit for use in home conditions – the IMW explains for eKapija.

The primary idea, they say, was to develop, as soon as possible, an alternative to conventional respirators and make it available to everyone interested in getting involved in further development and production of the device. The aim is to reduce the stress on hospital capacities, but they say that medical experts need to give the final word on the use of alternative devices.

– Alternative respirators are meant for patients with milder symptoms. However, when there are no other alternatives, the developed prototypes, which are still being perfected, as well as the new ones we are working on, can be used by all patients and these devices can save lives. Still, the decision on the application of alternative respirators can only be made by medical doctors and experts – the Institute points out.

– We hope that there will be no need to use the alternative respirators on patients with severe symptoms and that they will only be used as aid to the medical staff.

The Institute tells our portal that they are actively cooperating with the Clinical Center of Kragujevac and that they've developed the fourth prototype, which is already being tested, but that there's a range of procedures that must be complied with in order for the device to enter medical institutions.

(Photo: IMW Institut)
– Although we hope that the number of patients will not grow suddenly, if it does happen and if there are no conditions for the standard respirators to be used, we are sure that alternative respirators can help – the Institute says.

Smart respirators in development too

The Institute is also working on developing smart respirators. They are currently procuring various sensors, which will enable the control of the device based on the parameters which are constantly monitored in patients.

– This entails the monitoring of a larger number of key parameters, along with the extension of the device with several different modules. Those modules will make the devices “smarter”. The software will enable a better and more efficient treatment of the patients – the Institute says.

Services for companies in Europe as well

The IMW gathers a large number of experts from throughout Serbia. The primary activity of the Institute is the testing of materials and welds in the rail industry and other industries.

– We are currently finishing the process of accreditation of labs, which will enable us to provide services to other companies in Serbia and Europe, in addition to our companies within the MIND Group.

The Institute is equipped with the most modern equipment for the testing of materials, welds, water, land and the chemical composition of metals.

– Our primary activities are in a way related to medicine, mechanical engineering, programming and electronics, but we have not had experience with these devices so far. With this project, we are showing that, as part of our already established cooperation with the Faculty of Engineering Sciences in Kragujevac, we can work efficiently on solving serious and complex problems. Our potential is growing day by day and we are certainly considering expanding our activities to other branches – the Institute says for eKapija.

S. Petrovic

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