A physician from the Canadian province of Ontario has succeeded in adapting one respirator so cleverly that it can be used for nine patients at the same time. The colleagues of anesthetist Alain Gauthier, the inventor in question, call him a ‘genius’ on social media. A tweet about his striking find has already been liked more than 63,000 times, including by Tesla boss Elon Musk. He calls the modified machine ‘very interesting’.
Worldwide, there is currently an urgent search for additional respirators to support corona patients struggling for life in intensive care units. There is a threat of a shortage of medical machines in the long term. Alain Gauthier capitalized on that development and crafted, inspired by YouTube videos he found on the subject. This system allows a device’s tube to be safely split via fittings into up to nine oxygen tubing.
However, according to Gauthier, his system only works in patients who have almost the same lung size and corresponding capacity, he told the Canadian Press. He states that the reconstructed ventilator must be adjusted slightly higher or different when connected to several patients. Only in this way can the lungs of several patients be supplied with the right amount of oxygen with even pressure.
The branched machine is not yet connected to patients, the specialist at the Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital in Ontario emphasizes. For the time being, there are still sufficient ‘fans’ available in the hospital. But the doctor thinks that if the corona crisis in Canada becomes more severe, he will have to rebuild multiple machines in his hospital or other locations. “It may happen that eventually, there are no other options, and my life-saving system will have to be introduced everywhere in Canada and other countries. In many cases, it works perfectly.” Realizing that one device per patient is ideal, Gauthier obtained his Ph.D. years ago with a study into the possibilities and the technology behind respiratory equipment.
It is not the first time that an ingeniously branched ventilator will be used. Alain Gauthier states that a similar adjustment has also been put into practice after a massive shooting on October 1, 2017, in the American gambling city of Las Vegas. Stephen Paddock, 64, shot concertgoers from his hotel room during a country festival that day. The drama, one of the most violent shootings in the modern history of the United States, left 58 dead and 869 injured.
In Canada, the government announced yesterday; there are more than 500 people with the coronavirus diagnosed, nine people are said to have died.