Goal: To provide a Multiple Emergency Ventilator (MEV) as backup in case of shortage of ICU ventilators and for use in camp hospitals. Methods: MEV provides the same oxygen mixture and peak inspiratory pressure (PIP) to 10 patients. These specifications were fixed: i) gas supply and plugs to double-limb intubation sets compatible to existing systems; ii) fluid-dynamics with no pressure drop and almost complete patients’ uncoupling; iii) individual monitoring of inspiratory and expiratory pressures and flows and control of their timing; iv) easy stocking, transport, installation with self-supporting pipes.
Results: A Bell-Jar System (BJS) design permitted to safely fix PIP based on Archimedes’ law. The main distribution line was based on 2” stainless steel pipes assuring the required mechanical properties and over-dimensioned for fluidics. The Windkessel of the BJS and pipeline dead-volumes is 75.65 L and in the worst case of the instantaneous demand of 5 L by 10 patients (0.5 L each) shows an adiabatic PIP drop limited to –6.18%, confirming the needed uncoupling. Consequently, patients’ asynchrony is permitted as needed by pressure-controlled volume-guaranteed and assisted-ventilation.
Conclusions: Although MEV is proposed as a backup system, its features may cover the whole set of ventilation modes required by ICU ventilation