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So, I’m one of the “Cool Guys”!

Ahh! “Social Distancing”. Who would have thought I was a Trend-Setter. I’ve been doing this my entire life. My daughter has always thought me mildly Autistic.



Yes, I am socially a little odd. I have always found it difficult to interact with people I didn’t know and as my friends would say, “also with people I do”.


But now, today, no-one is interacting with anyone much, anymore. This must make me “normal”, on this new scale of normal.


But I ask, are we all Germaphobes too?


Washing our hands every five minutes, wearing face masks out in public. Next we will all be stepping over the cracks in the pavement or carefully aligning the tooth brush and tooth paste on the counter top next to the basin.


Possibly, the real disease is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and it’s infecting us all.


I always knew that being a Nerd was not going to make me popular, but the reality is that no-one is popular anymore, as we all practice “self-isolation “ or generally staying away from each other.


During the many hours of “hanging-out by myself” and the pointless web browsing, I decided to read up on Emergency Ventilators. I thought my engineering and electronic background would lend itself to possibly making some.


This is what I found.


Most designs are based around a manual ventilator. This is a bag with a face-mask attached via a one-way valve. They require a nurse to manually squeeze the air-bag over and over again, often for several hours. This is incredibly tire-some, delivers an inaccurate and unregulated air volume to the patient and is a poor utilization of the medical staff.


The designs I found are very rudimentary, creating an automatic and repeatable mechanical force to squeeze the bag for you. They take either a rotational force and convert it to a repeatable linear force using a simple CAM arrangement, or they use a pneumatic (air-pressure) driven actuator, to repeatedly press against the side of the bag. Some have settable control of the linear stroke and rate of depressions, to better manage the air flow to the patient.


This design is proposed by Gtech, a UK appliance company who usually make vacuum cleaners.


Check-out these YouTube videos.


· CAM mechanical Linear Type

· Pneumatic Actuator Type


It all looks possible and incredibly simple but the most eye-opening thing I read was this article regarding ventilators for patients with Covid-19.


What You Should Know Before You Need a Ventilator.

It’s definitely a “Must Read” for parents and their adult children.

Realistically, the best option is to keep up the social distancing, hand washing, environmental hygiene, stay away from public areas and where possible, Self-Isolation.

To quote Monty Python’s, Life of Brian;


“Where’s the Popular Peoples Front of Judea? Oh, he’s over there.”


We all need to be that Cool Guy. I don’t think I want an emergency ventilator, anyway.

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