University College London (UCL) engineers, University College London Hospitals (UCLH) clinicians and the Mercedes-AMG team have designed and built a new breathing aid that can help keep coronavirus (Covid-19) patients out of intensive care.

The UCL-Ventura breathing aid, a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device, helps Covid-19 patients with lung infections to breathe more easily, when an oxygen mask alone is insufficient.

Such devices are in short supply in UK hospitals at the moment, so engineers at UCL and Mercedes-AMG worked round-the-clock to reverse engineer a device that could be manufactured rapidly by the thousands.

From the initial meeting to production of the first device, it took fewer than 100 hours.

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Source: Mercedes-AMG

After a UK Government order for up to 10,000, the devices are being produced at a rate of up to 1,000 a day at the HPP technology centre in Brixworth, Northamptonshire.

Professor Rebecca Shipley, Director of UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering, said, “These life-saving devices are relatively simple to manufacture and can be produced quickly.”

“We hope that, by making the blueprints publicly available, they can be used to improve the resilience of healthcare systems preparing for the Covid-19 pandemic globally.”

“My thanks goes to the brilliant engineers, business managers and team at UCLB who have come together and made this happen at a pace that would be considered unimaginable under normal circumstances.”