NASA scientists aren't limiting themselves to
space-related work these days. Engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in
Southern California took just 37 days to develop a new high-pressure ventilator
tailored for coronavirus patients. The ventilator passed a critical test this
week at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, NASA said.
Although JPL normally builds spacecraft, not
medical devices, engineers stepped in due to the nation's limited supply of
traditional ventilators, which are needed for COVID-19 patients experiencing
severe respiratory distress.
Photo: NASA team developed a ventilator
tailored for coronavirus patients in 37 days
The ventilator has been named VITAL, for
Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally, and can be built faster,
more easily and with fewer parts than a traditional ventilator, according to
NASA. "We have the potential to save human lives, people that we might
know, our neighbors, our families," said Michelle Easter, a mechatronics
engineer on the project.
The team feels
confident that the VITAL ventilator will be able to safely ventilate patients
suffering from Covid-19 both here in the United States and throughout the