Assembly instructions for a DIY Ventilator prototype.
This could be useful in an Avian Flu pandemic.
Constructed with commonly available components.

Many of us modify, hack, re-purpose, and DIY to save money, build something unique, create art, or show the world that there is a better way to use some device. And sometimes, just because it's cool. This is something different. It is a ventilator, and ventilators are meant to save lives. This project is called the Pandemic Ventilator, because it is meant to be used as a ventilator of last resort during a possible avian (bird) flu pandemic.

Many health authorities are preparing for the possibility of a flu pandemic in the next few years.
If a pandemic occurs that is related to the type of virus that is currently spreading in birds, they fear that it may be as bad or possibly worse than the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. It is expected that the number of people that require treatment with ventilators may be much greater than the current number of ventilators in existence. If a pandemic were to strike, the hospitals could not just go out and buy all the ventilators they need, because there would not be enough parts or manufacturing capability. Many governments already have plans for triage and rationing programs that will determine who gets access to the limited number of ventilators and who will be left to die. When I first heard about this, I thought, "This is not good enough, if someone I know or love needs a ventilator, I would get one, I would build one myself if I had to". Thus the idea was born.

The earliest ventilators of the 1950s were primitive devices with even more primitive control and sensor systems, but they worked, and they saved many lives. Some of the early ones were built in workshops. This ventilator has a very primitive and basic design, but then it does benefit from a modern electronic control system. This is a basic ventilator design using materials that would still be readily available (or re-purposed) if a pandemic were to occur. It uses wood, tape, plastic bags, threaded pipe, solenoid valves, security system magnetic switches, and a PLC (Programmable Logic Controller). The prototype shown does not yet incorporate all of the proposed design features and the control program still needs some work to make it more stable and failsafe but it does function, as you can see from the video.

The Pandemic Ventilator Project is an open source hardware project. If you build your own development unit, please share your ideas, and experience at www.panvent.blogspot.com .

The information in this instructable is presented as is for development and investigative purposes only. The prototypes presented are not fully functional devices and have had no safety testing done. A ventilator is a potentially hazardous device and should only be operated by a trained and certified respiratory therapist. Any usage guidelines will be published for emergency use only, and only when a fully functional and validated unit has been completed. Anyone using this information to build or use a device agrees to waive any and all liability.

The Pandemic Ventilator Project

Step 1: What It Looks Like

The Pandemic Ventilator Project
It basically consists of the bellows unit, which is made of wood, valves and piping, a PLC controller, some wires and switches and a power supply unit.
The whole unit is mounted on a piece of 1/2 inch thick plywood that is18 inches by 21 inches.
<p>very good project.</p><p>what software is used on the Optional PC to access the controller?</p>
hi friened ;its very good idea.................:-&gt; r u like plc programming?
I cannot see the video. Please inform that another one have same problem?
Swine flu? lol
>>"Most authorities believe that a flu pandemic will strike the world within the next few years. " No offense meant but I do not believe Instructables is here to spread falsehoods or to scare people. "Most" implies the majority and the majority would include the US, UK and other World Health Organizations. Since none have officially come out and said they "believe that a flu pandemic will strike the world within the next few years" then by definition you are spreading unproven and unfounded falsehoods. In my eyes, thats not cool. Not here anyway. You can go somewhere else to spread that.. say like the ATS forums. FYI: The amount of people who died last year from falls from a 3 foot ladder far outweigh the number dead from any "bird" flu. I like your instructable, it's creative, but its premise is .. seriously flawed.
April 27 2009 Care to repeat that statement for everyone?
My comment is 2 years old in case you didn't notice. Nice trolling.... I stand by my original statement AT THE TIME and ON THE SUBJECT at hand. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and even right now 04/30/09 by no means are we anywhere near the point of the need for homemade ventilators. if you build this and stake your life on it in case of any infection, your chances go DOWN rather than UP. So.. tornadoboy.. tell me, what was wrong with what I said back in 2007?
<a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/index.htm?s_cid=tw_epr_81">xD</a><br/>
You are right in your criticism of my statement. Pandemics are in fact extremely difficult to predict ahead of time as to timing and severity. I changed the statement to: &quot;Many health authorities are preparing for the possibility of a flu pandemic in the next few years.&quot; I also softened the statement following that line. This, I believe is more accurate and reflects the actions and policies such as the World health Organization. WHO]http://www.who.int/csr/disease/avian_influenza/phase/en/index.html<br/><br/>WHO states on their website, &quot;Experts at WHO and elsewhere believe that the world is now closer to another influenza pandemic than at any time since 1968, when the last of the previous century's three pandemics occurred.&quot; They also state, &quot;The world is presently in phase 3: a new influenza virus subtype is causing disease in humans, but is not yet spreading efficiently and sustainably among humans.&quot;<br/><br/>The US Department of Health and Human Services is a little more restrained in their statements on their website. <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.pandemicflu.gov/index.html">PandemicFlu.gov</a><br/><br/>It is important to remember that the risk right now is fairly low, and may in fact stay low for a long period of time, but the best time to prepare for potential problems is before they happen.<br/><br/>
The link to WHO did not seem to attach properly.<br/>Here it is again.<br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.who.int/csr/disease/avian_influenza/phase/en/index.html">WHO</a><br/>
go to ohiopandemicflu.gov its the only one i could findabout the flu and it will happen again 20??
this is interesting, can you explain more about how it works / how it is used, you've covered how to make it well. what i was able to figure out is it seems like this is for use by an already sick patient, not for pro-active use? and it will feed the patient clean air and filter their exhale? then working through the component diagram i'm a bit confused about the timing of the air flows through the different valves, and also what is the purpose of the bellows? i've used scuba gear, it does not use bellows - although it is also not the most comfortable thing since it requires a little bit of inhale force. also how do you hydrate the inhaled air?
This is a basic prototype to show that a ventilator could be constructed from basic readily available components during a flu pandemic after all of the existing ventilators are being used. A lot of commercial ventilators use air valves and regulators to control the airflow, and this works very well, but these are highly engineered devices that would probably not be available in high enough quantities during a pandemic. The bellows is used instead to control the rate, volume and pressure of air delivered to the patient. The rate can be controlled by the cycle time, the volume by adjusting the fill and empty set points and the pressure by adjusting the weight on the bellows. The bellows design is also more efficient in it's use of air, in that no air is wasted for control purposes. It would still require trained persons to operate it, so it would have to be used in a hospital. The hospital would have filtered air available and they could use an existing unit to add moisture to the inhaled air. Another feature that is still required is a method to add more oxygen to the air. This will need another valve on the intake side.
I like it! Hope I never have to build one.....
Way to think ahead! I just hope you never get to use is =[<br/>
awesome, looks like you put a lot of work/ thought into this great instructable.

About This Instructable




More by panvent:The Pandemic Ventilator 
Add instructable to: