Filipino neonatologist Dr. Enrique Ostrea, a team of University of the Philippines engineers,and the Department of Science and Technology have collaborated to produce OstreaVent, a cheaper medical ventilator which is proven to be an effective substitute for the standard and commercialized type of ventilators for premature infants with respiratory conditions.
OstreaVent is described as a time-cycled and pressure-limited apparatus that has been already submitted to a series of clinical tests to ensure its efficacy and safety. The tests successfully proved the cheaper ventilator to be a good alternative to the standard commercial ventilators.
The touch screen-controlled ventilator features a graphic representation of the respiratory cycles and regulates the ventilator rate, pressure limits for peak inspiratory pressure and positive end expiratory pressure, alarms for high and low pressures, and inspiratory time.
Dr. Ostrea says he was inspired to produce the less expensive ventilator after realizing that most public hospitals lack the standard respiratory ventilators. He relates a story from his hospital rounds some years ago, where he saw a 12-year old girl manually pumping an inflatable bag to ventilate a premature baby. The doctor learned the situation was a common occurrence in local hospitals. This dire state of public hospitals has resulted to a number of unnecessary fatalities in the country. Fueled by his determination to put an end to this practice, Dr. Ostrea collaborated with the Department of Science and Technology and a team of mechanical and electrical engineers from the University of the Philippines to set up the equipment.
OstreaVent was granted a patent at the Philippine Government Patent Office in 2012 and has since been donated to the Breath of Life Foundation. The non-profit association now distributes the cheaper ventilators to different hospitals around the Philippines.