Costa Rica, like all other countries of the world, is fighting the pandemic due to COVID-19, taking all sanitary and protective measures for the care of its inhabitants. Although currently, the number of contagions continues to increase, its growth is low compared to other more developed countries.

That is why a low-cost artificial respirator prototype was created at the University of Costa Rica, which could be used to benefit patients once it passes all the tests and health standard measures. It was recently announced that this prototype passed the first of the clinical tests and that its manufacture will begin soon.

It is worth mentioning that the university authorities reported that they submitted two prototypes, one ambulatory portable type and the other fixed for in-hospital use, to tests in a simulator of human body functions with state-of-the-art technology at the School of Nursing.

Dr. Ralph García Vindas, director of the School of Physics and one of the promoters of the initiative commented: “the devices meet the minimum requirements for assisted ventilation”, this has been very satisfactory for all those involved in the project.

A low-cost device that facilitates medical care.

Experts in the field reported that one of the devices that were developed, is electric-powered and the other pneumatic, that is, it works with a compressed gas engine. The innovation of these devices is that they can both be used non-invasively in patients and promise to be cheaper about commercial respirators that according to official health sources have reached price ranges of around 10 million dollars in the context of the COVID-19 epidemic.

Device Verification.

The clinical test with the prototypes was carried out at the Health Simulation Center to verify that these devices are safe, practical and that they comply with the ventilatory capacity protocols and in which nursing teachers and respiratory therapists were present during the trials to guarantee the fidelity of the procedure. The whole process was supervised by Dr. Jaime Caravaca, director of the Center for Health Simulation, which is accredited by the American Heart Society, which governs the rules regarding cardiac and respiratory support for people.

Also, Dr. Caravaca stated: “These tests are important to be more certain if they are preceding along the correct route or if modifications to the prototypes are necessary.” Thanks to this ingenious Tico initiative, many companies and individuals have already shown interest in the production of these devices.

For his part, the director of the School of Physics stated, “We are now close to the serial manufacture level of respirators. The idea is to guarantee that both devices are completely safe and that we can incorporate as many improvements as possible”.

It is important to note that the investigators hope to obtain the permission of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) and the COVID-19 Commission shortly to continue the trials, which will involve tests with human beings.

Without a doubt, ingenuity and Tico enthusiasm grows in adversities. We hope to bring you more details about the progress of this artificial respirator shortly.