COVID-19 Collaboration: Among shortage, Vandy engineers and VUMC doctors build ventilators of their own

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NASHVILLE, Tenn.(WKRN) – It’s a COVID-19 collaboration. 

Vanderbilt University engineers and Vanderbilt University Medical Center doctors have teamed up to tackle the looming ventilator shortage by way of an open-source ventilator design of their own. 


“One of my colleagues at Vanderbilt called me and said ‘hey we need something, this could get really bad, we need to start working on this’ and our goal here was to build a device that anyone could build,” said Bob Webster, Professor of Mechanical Engineering.
The design, now named prototype 2, uses everyday materials, like plywood, an ambu bag, and windshield wiper motor. 


“One of the main concerns we have about this current situation, is running out of supplies, among this, life-saving supplies like a ventilator,” said Fabien Maldonado, Professor of Medicine and Thoracic Surgery 


Their next hope, after more testing, is to move to prototype three before manufacturing.
The team’s long-term goal is to make the design publicly available so anyone can replicate it. Should the need arise, Vanderbilt is prepared to produce around 100 ventilators within the next week.


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Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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