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March 29, 2020 | Tom Ballard

Prisma Health, engineers at two SC universities develop device to allow four patients to share one ventilator

Here’s a great example of an innovative partnership to develop a solution to a vexing problem facing healthcare institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic – the lack of the number of ventilators that are projected to be needed nationally.

Two South Carolina universities and Prisma Health collaborated to create the VESper device, a method that permits four patients to be treated simultaneously on a single ventilator. Now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given emergency use authorization to distribute and use the new technology.

Prisma Health, formed through the merger of Palmetto Health and Greenville Health System, worked with engineers at Clemson University and the University of South Carolina who obtained FDA approval and tested prototypes developed through 3D printing technology with private sector partners. The VESper device (pictured right), created by a Prisma Emergency Medicine Physician in collaboration with her husband and a Prisma Pulmonary Critical Care Physician, uses “Y” splitter tubing to divide the air flow among multiple patients.

Learn more about the effort here.

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