Atlanta (WGCL) — Almost every federal agency has warned about ventilator shortages. It is a frightful situation to think about, a patient needing equipment but supplies run out.
Some Americans are wondering what medical professionals will do if hospitals have more patients than ventilators? It is an unthinkable situation that Italy already experienced.
Some artisans are stepping up with a suggestion. Carson Pennella, a glass blower, is spending hours in his basement studio creating a glass prototype which may one day be used to help a patient breathe.
“The current situation is unique and something we haven’t seen in generations,” said Pennella.
“It’s called a t-splitter,” Pennella said as he blows air into hot glass over a flame.
“It would be used in an emergency situation,” he adds. He explains that it can turn a single ventilator into a system to help 4 patients.
“This is just another resource that we as a community can hopefully use to help each other,” said Pennella.
But would hospitals accept them? Pennella is not sure. “It is better safe than sorry and it’s better to be prepared in a situation like this.”
He spends about 20 minutes shaping and creating one piece which costs about $5 in materials to produce.
He says if hospitals run out of ventilators and want to use these products as a solution during a dire circumstance then he will donate them for free.
“Whether or not these particular devices get used, there is a community that’s willing to help and support the effort to fight Covid-19.”
The idea has been presented to doctors in Denver and Detroit as medical professionals nationwide are exploring options on what to do should hospitals run out of ventilators.
Doctors have researched this idea. In a 2006 study by The Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, researchers determined this unorthodox idea should only be used in emergency situations.
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