BEIRUT: As COVID-19 spreads across the country, health officials are becoming increasingly alarmed about the bleak reality of not having enough ventilators for patients who might need them.
In light of this, a new and potentially life-saving initiative that seeks to manufacture ventilators locally was launched by the school of engineering at the Lebanese American University in collaboration with LAU Medical Center-Rizk Hospital, LAU Gilbert and Rose-Marie Chagoury School of Medicine, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Polytextile, S&AS controllers, and Technica.
Barbar Akle, Assistant Provost at the Lebanese American University, expressed hope that these ventilators would be built in "a short period of time."
“As clinical staff and engineers, we offered some technical advice to the different teams working on this project,” Bassam Tabshouri, head of AUB's Medical Engineering Department told Annahar.
Ventilators are in short supply in many parts of the world. Physicians rely on them to help treat patients who have contracted the virus in which, in most severe cases, damages healthy tissues in the lungs, making it hard for it to deliver oxygen to the blood. The machines are also used routinely to help other hospital patients breathe, namely those undergoing surgery while under general anesthesia.
“This is a stellar example of intersecting the skillsets and capabilities of academia from all over Lebanon, with those of leading industrialists and entrepreneurs including Polytextile, S&AS controllers, and Technica, to face a critical challenge,” said Joseph G. Jabbra, President of LAU, in a statement.
The teams working on the initiative include Barbar Akle, Michel Khoury, and Ali Ammouri from the engineering school at LAU; Fayez Abillama, a specialist in Intensive Medicine at LAU Medical Center-Rizk Hospital; Paul Abi Nasr from Polytextile; Bassam Tabshoury, head of their Medical Engineering Department at AUB; and Mohammad Khatib, professor of Anesthesiology at AUB.
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