A lift for ventilation modification

Combilift – best known for its range of forklifts and other handling solutions – has developed the Combi-Ventilate, a splitter device that turns one ventilator into multiple ventilation stations.

Designed to address the requirements of medical professionals in the current Covid-19 emergency, the Combi-Ventilate was developed by a team of mechatronic and software engineers, and a unit is currently undergoing laboratory tests with Ger Curley, professor of anaesthesia and critical care at Royal College of Surgeon’s in Beaumont Hospital.

Martin McVicar, CEO and co-founder Combilift, said: “Certain countries and cities are struggling to get enough ventilators and many governments and health authorities are encouraging manufacturers to come up with a solution, as did the HSE in Ireland. Instead of actually developing ventilators we analysed what is really required, as we do in our usual business models.”

The Combi-Ventilate uses standard pipes and fittings for easy assembly and its individual patient filters prevent cross contamination. Each patient has a dedicated screen that allows medical professionals to individually monitor their vital information.

Features include non-return valves, Hepa filters, flow sensors and an automatic flow control valve. Any abnormalities are detected and will only trigger that specific patient’s alarm. The Combi-Ventilate has automatically adjustable flow control valves that allow the health service professional control the tidal volume to each patient electronically without having to make manual adjustments.

“When we are developing equipment, we listen closely to our customers in order to perfect and improve the product,” Martin said. “This approach in our collaboration with the HSE is what has got us where we are today. This is very much designed as an attachment which can be added to any brand of ventilator. It costs a fraction of a standard ventilator and can be installed very easily into an ICU unit environment. We have made Combi-Ventilate with the same objective as we do with all our products, which is all about doing more with less.”