As COVID-19pandemic continues to claim lives around the world, one major problem has come to the fore - shortage of ventilators.
The machine is needed to provide breathing support to critical patients, but there is not enough supply for healthcare facilities, which are already overwhelmed with hundreds of cases.
Now, to tackle this problem in India, AIIMS is planning to deploy prototype ventilators.
Prototype procurement being discussed with AgVa Healthcare
AIIMS is reportedly in talks with AgVa Healthcare, a Noida-based medical equipment supplier, to procure what the latter says are lightweight, handy, and affordable ventilator prototypes.
The goal, according to AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria, is to keep these ventilators in stock and ready for use on COVID-19 patients as and when the need arises throughout India's fight against COVID-19.
Effectiveness still being assessed, says Guleria
Speaking on the decision to bring prototypes into use, Guleria noted that AIIMS's "expert committee team is evaluating whether these prototypes of ventilators can be used on high-risk COVID-19 patients and how much it is beneficial for patients."
He added, "We have [also] placed orders for ventilators from international companies, in case we do not get [the prototypes] for some reason."
What doctors say about the prototypes?
A senior doctor at AIIMS said that they have checked parameters and features of the prototype ventilators but the final decision is yet to be taken.
Notably, in critical cases of pneumonia, which is what happens in COVID-19, patients have to be put on ICU and treated with advanced medical equipment, including ventilators that move air into the lungs to help with breathing.
Ventilator shortage has forced automakers to help with manufacturing
The shortage of ventilators has been such that leading automakers, including Tesla, Ford, General Motors, and 3M, have engaged in the production of the equipment to back healthcare facilities in the US.
"Globally, there is a huge crisis of ventilators. So, we are exploring the way of using a prototype of ventilator for patients suffering from coronavirus," Guleria said, while emphasizing on AIIMS's solution.
So far, over 4.7 lakh have been infected by COVID-19
Since spreading from the Chinese city of Wuhan, COVID-19 has infected over 4.7 lakh people worldwide and claimed the lives of over 21,000. In India alone, the disease has infected more than 700 people and killed 14.