The concept of ventilator sharing to our knowledge was first written by Dr. Neyman and Dr. Irvin in 2006 (Ac Emergency Medicine 2006). They demonstrated that by using T-tubes and adapters, a ventilator circuit could be divided such that four simulated patients could share a single ventilator in emergency circumstances. Although only simulated in the original article, this technique was successfully used by Dr. Menes in the 2017 Las Vegas shooting mass casualty incident. This technique saved the lives of patients, buying time until more ventilators could arrive.
Some hospitals do not have the T-tubes or other parts readily available to setup a ventilator for multiple patients. This free 3D printed part can be used in such situations.
Our goal is to have an easily printed 3D part so that anyone in the world, who may need it in dire circumstances, can use it to save lives.
To ventilate two patients on one ventilator, place one splitter on the inspiratory limb and one on the expiratory limb as shown.
To ventilate four patients, you need a total of 6 splitters arranged such that each of the splitters in the “Two Patient” scenario has an additional splitter on each limb.
MORE THAN FOUR?
It may be possible to ventilate more patients, however the flow limits of a ventilator cap the total volume that can be delivered. With that said, since this is a modular design, you can ventilate 3,4,5,6,7+ patients.
Ideally, similar patients (ideal body weight, lung compliance, etc) should be on the same ventilator. However you may be forced to pair patients with mismatched lung compliances. In this case we designed flow limiters of varying sizes to offer adjustability. These are to be added immediately downstream of the inspiratory splitter.
THIS IS FOR EMERGENCY, LAST RESORT USE ONLY! THIS 3D DESIGN HAS ONLY BEEN SIMULATED WITH VENTILATORS AND BAGS, NOT HUMANS (YET).
- Always use inline filters to reduce cross-contamination & filament migration.
- All patients must be fully relaxed, and not spontaneously breathing.
- You must use caution to avoid hyperventilation and barotrauma if you have significantly mismatched patients attached to one ventilator.
- 3D printing across many users is inherently variable. Check the printed piece on the intended ventilator for fit before mass production.
- 3D printed parts can break. Be gentle and cautious for failures while in use.
- Return to single patient ventilation as soon as ventilators become available.
- If you do not have a strong understanding of ventilator/lung mechanics, do not use this.
- This has not been tested on humans, nor is it FDA approved. This is for EMERGENCIES & DISASTERS only. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK.