Equipment to be donated to Covid-19 field hospitals
The Electrical and Electronics Testing Laboratory (Labelo) of PUCRS is testing mechanical ventilators produced by a group of companies, engineers and volunteer technicians from Caxias do Sul and neighboring cities. The equipment will be donated to field hospitals in the region, which have been set up to treat coronavirus patients. The initiative is headed by Hospital Geral (HG) and the Science, Technology and Innovation Park of the University of Caxias do Sul (TecnoUCS).
“LABELO is accredited by Inmetro to carry out tests to certify products, such as electromedical products, in compliance with ANVISA’s regulations. The laboratory is a reference in this area in the market”, Israel Teixeira, director of Labelo, says. The quality and technical competence of the reports issued by the laboratory, surrounded by a complete ecosystem, are recognized by the industry. Of particular importance was the support from the Biomedical and Clinical Engineering Sector of PUCRS’ São Lucas Hospital (HSL), which made available additional equipment.
Major improvements have been made to the machines to increase the emergency ventilation capacity needed in hospital environments. The team has been working on assessments of pressure, volume, frequency and cycling of the products since early in April.
At the same time, the group is awaiting authorization from the National Council of Ethics in Research (Conep) to conduct clinical tests (with patients) with the equipment named Frank 5010. Approval is dependent upon the results in the engineering tests carried out at Labelo.
The next steps, after Conep’s approval, would be to partner with suppliers for industrial production, according to the demands and supply of the health network.
Widely used in times of crisis or in patients with cardio-respiratory problems, mechanical ventilators are used to assist or replace spontaneous breathing. This type of complication can happen because of a number of diseases, but also because of lung and heart problems.
Labelo’s laboratories carry out various types of tests, serving a variety of different industries. These include calibration, software, appliances, lighting, health, energy efficiency, equipment for professional use and infrastructure, chemical tests as well as cutting-edge materials and components.
The lab is keen to evaluate volume, pressure and concentration of O2 as well as other critical factors to ensure that the equipment performs the basic functions for which it was designed. “All tests simulate the real use of the device, in controlled and known conditions. Some artificial lung parameters, for instance, vary from person to person, such as complacency and resistance – characteristics that are associated with the patient’s pulmonary functions”, Israel explains.