The control panel of the Emerson 3PV ventilator shows it's
Maytag roots. Does that black knob control the rinse cycle or tidal volume?
The idea for a cost effective ventilator came to light when he heard one of the leading trauma experts of the day, R. Adams Cowley, complaining about the high cost and availability of Engstrom ventilators which were the standard of the day. Dr. Cowley received a $100,000 dollar grant to research shock following trauma and had to spend most of it on expensive Engstrom ventilators. A cost effective ventilator would free up grant money for other vital research.
After some tinkering in his Cambridge, Massachusetts machine shop, the ever enterprising Emerson cobbled together a ventilator created from a hodge podge of ordinary and readily available household and automotive parts. His unique creation was the first ventilator marketed with a humidifier thanks to the hot plate and a water vessel.
Modern ventilators have filters to prevent contamination, but Emerson's 3PV went a step further. He incorporated copper mesh in the return tubing. Copper has antimicrobial properties and actually kills bacteria and viruses by degrading the cell membrane or protein coat of the virus.
One thing missing from Emerson's pioneering ventilator was an electronic monitoring screen made by extracting toxic elements from the earth via a process that is probably slowly killing us. Old school practitioners were satisfied with watching the rise and fall of the chest and auscultating breath sounds to verify ventilatory function.
Simple devices like Emerson ventilators have an inherent beauty. One way or another we could all wind up flat on our backs with a ventilator chugging away in the background. While we are thinking, "Is this all there is?" an image of the ventilator blowing air into our wounded meatsacks appears in our peripheral vision. I know my emotional bandwidth will feel like it's been hit by a grenade if I see a computerized microprocessor controlled gizmo keeping me alive. Find one of those old Emerson's in the basement somewhere and I'll be smiling even with that endotracheal tube jammed down my old, foolish craw.
One of your very best OFRN.ReplyDelete
This just make me think of the parapac ventilators we use for transport - just the tiniest of square orange boxes with a few dials on them, yet magically they make the chest go up and down. I know the fancy ventilators are rightfully on top of the hierarchy, but dang I do love a good indestructible parapac.ReplyDelete
And not just because I've dropped one, while attached to a patient (not my fault! I swear!), and had it keep chugging along as if to challenge me with an "is that all you've got?!"
I googled the Parapac and being pneumatically driven without need for a power source, they remind me of the old Airshields ventilators anesthesia used in ORs. Those things were indestructible and made the most reassuring chugging noise I've ever heard.Delete
A timely article OFRN, the way things are going you might just need to wheel these old things out again! Oh dear. Take care, SueReplyDelete
Things seem to be going the wrong way here. We never did have a robust public health system in this country and all the politicking has made it worse.Delete
Kudos to Mr. Emerson! Simple and effective.ReplyDelete
Too bad folks like him aren't in charge of the COVID fiascoDelete
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How are you going OFRN? I hope you are keeping safe there. We have a troubling outbreak in Melbourne and the city has gone into lock down again - we were down to single digit cases of covid19 in Sydney and Melbourne but as things opened up again people got complacent - a few hundred known cases in Melbourne so far, about 50 in Sydney. This wretched thing takes off so fast. All other states free of any cases now pretty much. We are fine here, I'm in the country away from cities. The USA doesn't look good on our national news, especially Florida, Arizona, Texas. I have friends in lock down in San Franciso. Look after yourself. These are weird times aren't they. Cheers from SueReplyDelete
COVID has been slowly increasing in Allegheny County so I'm pretty much staying put here in my humble little hovel.Delete
Folks in the USA seem to be in a denial mode or an over reaction scenario. So much division is just causing the virus to spiral further out of control. I don't think some of our leaders realize that COVID is a force of nature and cannot be controlled with political maneuvering or agendas.
Instead of seeing others as political opponents we should acknowledge that everyone is different. Both conservatives and liberals argue from a place of smugness and false certainty without recognizing this is a new event and there is lots that's unknown. About all we can do is isolate, wash our hands, and wear masks out of concern for others.
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