ADAPTING REBREATHER TECH IN THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19
The national lockdowns forced on the country during the COVID-19 pandemic were tough on us all. For Vobster head-honcho Martin Stanton, however, they provided the perfect opportunity to ‘pay it forward’ by applying cutting-edge rebreather technology to the fight against COVID-19.
Whilst the rest of the country followed government guidance to 'stay home, protect the NHS and save lives', Vobster Quay owner Martin Stanton applied his efforts to something that could save many lives across the globe – the development of a new class of CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) ventilator designed to help patients with severe breathing difficulties.
Drawing upon considerable expertise gained through years of developing the acclaimed VMS RedBare closed circuit diving rebreather, Martin’s 3CPAP ventilator incorporates state-of-the-art CCR principles to deliver a simple yet highly effective solution that is more cost and resource efficient than conventional CPAP systems used in hospital ICU departments worldwide. Originally conceived during the first wave of COVID-19 in the UK, its primary goal is to deliver adjustable CPAP with adjustable fractional inspired oxygen concentrations, using very low fresh gas flow.
What Martin has achieved that is unique - and something of a first - is to make a rebreather perform CPAP. The result is a device that uses considerably less oxygen than a conventional CPAP device. An average UK general hospital can deliver around 3000 litres of oxygen per minute shared between all patients that need it, making oxygen a premium yet limited resource.
With conventional CPAP machines consuming on average 50 litres of per minute, that caps the total number of patients that can receive CPAP treatment to a maximum of 60 – if the hospital were to exceed this limitation, the system would shut down leaving patients with no oxygen at all.
Using a rebreather-based system like 3CPAP, that same hospital could treat over 1000 patients from the same supply – equating to the treatment of sixteen times more patients from a device that also costs a lot less than comparable conventional CPAP system.
Such a system has tremendous potential not only in hospitals but also in care homes and locations worldwide where the large volumes of oxygen needed to run conventional CPAP devices may not be available. 3CPAP "has the very real potential to allow acute CPAP to be delivered using oxygen concentrators, during transport and in countries where oxygen supplies are limited" commented the Medical Devices Testing and Evaluation Centre.
Regulatory testing of Martin's 3CPAP device is almost complete with UK patient trials set to begin in August. The NHS here in the UK has already placed an order for 1000 3CPAP machines and Martin hopes that once the NHS order is complete, applications will begin to secure certifications required to export 3CPAP to other countries.
For more information, visit Millfield Medical Electronics
3CPAP IN THE NEWS
BBC News West caught up with Martin Stanton as he demonstrated 3CPAP at the recent Cheltenham Science Festival. You can watch the interview in full below...