If history is any indicator, as cases of COVID-19 increase, the demand for ventilators rise. In Italy, (and several other countries) lack of medical supplies including ventilators forced health care workers to make excruciating choices, and in the US, President Trump had to instruct private companies to develop ventilators to fill the void.
As cases of COVID-19 rise in Nepal, there could come a situation where ventilators could become the need of the hour. Therefore, an early intervention is necessary. And has been taken up by the people at Paaila Technology. They have developed a portable ventilator, in adherance to international standards, and are in the final stages of receiving approvals. According to Rabin Giri, co-founder and Robotics Engineer at Paaila Technology, “our ventilators have been developed by international guidelines as released by international universities, and have passed preliminary trials”. Paaila Technology will also be testing the portable ventilators on humans this week.
In a discussion with Paaila Technology, we discussed the reason behind their initiative.
First we understood the problem – according to Binay Raut, co-founder of Paaila Technology informs us about the problem of shortage of ventilators across the globe. Bringing the problem into Nepal’s perspective, Aayush Kasajoo, co-founder and Director of Paaila Technology tells us that Nepal has an estimated 600 ventilators (as per media sources). Statistics have revealed around 8 to 10% of COVID-19 cases require ventilators, which means, if Nepal’s cases rise above 5,000 cases, Nepal will automatically face a shortage of ventilators.
When asked when do COVID-19 patients require ventilators, Bidhan Pandey, mechanical engineer at Paaila Technology said ‘patients will need ventilator when COVID-19 makes it difficult for the patients to breathe.
“One in six COVID-19 patients becomes seriously ill and has difficulty breathing, according to the World Health Organization. That’s because lungs are the main battleground in COVID-19 infections, which can cripple breathing functions.”
Beyond COVID-19, the portable ventilators could also be used in ambulances, helicopter-rescues, and other emergency uses, as per Paaila Technology. Their ventilator has also been received well by the medical community, and in the past week have been demonstrating it in various hospitals (Dhulikhel Hospital, Army Hospital, and Teaching Hospital).
They are also in communication with the Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population, and have their encouragement.
Watch video of Nepalese Voice talking with members of Paaila Technology: