AMBU bag actuators

With the global supply crisis in standard ventilator systems, there is an emerging need to provide more basic point of care assistance to those suffering from respiratory issues and requiring assisted ventilation. KAUST has joined the global effort to provide fast effective solutions to assist those on the front line of medical care. 

One such solution already underway is our work on the design and prototyping of mechanical actuators for AMBU bags, which will provide simple, easily deployable and effective breathing assistance to patients. AMBU bags are manual resuscitator devices or “self-inflating bags,” used globally to provide positive pressure ventilation to patients who are not breathing or not breathing adequately. 

These bags require that the medical professional continually inflates the bag, in a regular rhythm to assist the patient with breathing. KUAST’s proposed innovation will allow for breathing assistance to be provided through simple automated mechanical motion, which up until now, is being provided by more complex ventilators, now in scarce supply. This in turn, allows for medical professionals, also becoming scarce, to treat other patients and not be tied to one individual.

KAUST have looked at ways in which our innovation can be rapidly reproduced and deployed, particularly suited to crisis situations where large scale deployment may be required. We have designed around simple criteria such as easy to replicate for manufactures, minimal parts, and easy to deploy and use at point of care.  

The AMBU bags are readily available in most countries, and are internationally standardized in terms of both size and performance, affording faster design cycles and easily adaptable solutions in any country of deployment. The bags are also commonplace in medical care professions such as clinics, hospitals, ambulances and emergency response teams making their availability more dependable.