Gtech is making public design details of a medical ventilator which could be manufactured in a matter of days to help in the fight against Covid-19.

A video of the ventilator working is being presented to Government and the NHS today – along with a design outline and parts specification.

 Nick Grey, owner of Gtech began working on the project after being contacted by the Government’s Chief Commercial Officer in the early hours of Sunday morning.

“At first I thought it was a hoax – being asked if I could assist in making up to 30,000 medical ventilators in as little as two weeks” said Nick. “When I realised that this was a genuine need I felt compelled to help”.

Nick spent Sunday researching how ventilators worked and on Monday – with a newly purchased ventilator as a point of reference - tasked Gtech’s engineering and model making team to tackle the challenge. There were a number of problems to overcome … oxygen is a very reactive gas, which rules out many motors and electrical devices.  

Normal air operated cylinders can only run on air, not pure oxygen so they could not be used. The breakthrough was to re-purpose an everyday syringe into an oxygen-powered ram.

A valve directs oxygen into the syringe which squeezes a self-inflating air container delivering 400 ml of air directly to the patients’ lungs. A second syringe acts as a timer and once the ‘breath’ has been delivered resets the ram ready for the next cycle.

In order to save and conserve oxygen, the waste gas is fed into a reservoir to enrich the patient’s air supply. The ventilator is driven and controlled entirely from the hospital oxygen supply without the need for electricity. 

The number of cycles per minute, volume of air delivered and the pressure of the air can all be controlled according to patient’s needs.

Nick says: “We designed the ventilator entirely from parts that can readily be made from stock materials or bought off-the-shelf.

“This means that if government approves and wants Gtech ventilators they can be made by almost any engineering and manufacturing company. Gtech could produce around 100 per day within a week or two providing we could find steel fabrication and CNC machining companies to help us make some of the parts”.