Context: A team of engineering students from IIT Bombay, NIT Srinagar and Islamic University of Science & Technology (IUST), Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir has come up with a low-cost ventilator,  Ruhdaar,  using locally available materials.

About a ventilator:

  • Ventilators (or respirators) are mechanical devices that help a patient breathe when they are unable to do so on their own. 
  • Hospitals have a supply system for gases like oxygen, which are used in ventilators.
  • The ventilator takes the compressed gas (oxygen) and mixes it with other gases (because typically what we breathe is 21% oxygen from the atmosphere). 
  • It allows you to artificially push in a certain required amount of oxygen into the patient’s lungs and allows them to deflate. 

Importance of low cost ventilator:

  • According to the Health Ministry, among those getting infected, around 80% will experience only mild illness, around 15% will need oxygen support and the remaining 5% who get critical or severe will need ventilators.
  • Ventilators are thus an important component of the medical infrastructure required for treating infected patients, providing critical breathing support to those falling critically ill.
  • Considering this, the government has been adopting a two-pronged approach, augmenting domestic manufacturing capacity as well as scouting across the world for medical supplies. 
  • Accordingly, as per the update given to the Group of Ministers, production of ventilators by domestic manufacturers has already started and orders for more than 59,000 units through nine manufacturers have been placed.
  • In this context, Ruhdaar is a good initiative in the crisis situation posed by the COVID-19 outbreak.