A group of volunteers in the Czech Republic worked together to create a “fully functional ventilator” in a short time, said an Associated Press report.
Tomas Kapler, an IT expert brought together a team of 30 Czechs to develop a ventilator, now called,the CoroVent.
This is to anticipate possible shortages of the machine in his country due to the effects of the coronavirus.
Kapler was moved to action after news of ventilator shortages in Italy endangered the lives of the many.
“It was a disturbing feeling,” said Kapler.
That due to the lack of equipment, doctors have to decide whether a person lives or not.
“That seemed so horrific to me that it was an impulse to do something,” he said.
Race Against Time
“It seemed that on the turn of March and April, we might be in the same situation as Italy,” Kapler added.
The virus hit Czechia much later than other countries in Europe.
However, the effect was the same with the country’s increasing number of infected.
Ventilators became a precious commodity and its prices skyrocketed, at the same time, manufacturers couldn’t keep up with the demand.
Materials to build them also came in short supply.
As a solution, Kapler created a crowd-funding campaign.
He also started making a ventilator “from the parts that are used in common machines.
To help him, Kapler talked to Karel Roubik, professor of Biomedical Engineering at the Czech Technical University.
Roubik, along with his colleagues and students worked together to create a working prototype in five days.
Volunteer pilots also helped in the fast delivery of materials, whenever they’re needed.
The ventilator’s simple design makes the machine cheaper than its counterparts and easier to mass produce, said Roubik.
By April, the Czech ventilator was ready to use and manufacture.
However, the country did not need the ventilator because of its effective containment of the virus.
MICO, the company in charge of its manufacturing already applied for a certification in the EU, for common hospital use.
A Positive Experience
Despite the fact that he had to quit his job and go on without pay for months, Kapler was happy with the project.
“It was mostly positive for me. I’ve met many fantastic people who are willing to help,” he said.
How do you feel about the Czech ventilator?