The U.F. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized a new ventilator designed by engineers working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, for emergency use as outlined in the agency’s COVID-19 guidelines. The ventilator, which has an acronym because this is NASA we’re talking about, is called ‘VITAL’ (Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally) and its design is being offered for free, licensed use for the duration of the coronavirus crisis.
The JPL-developed emergency use ventilator is an intubation ventilator, meaning that a patient has to be sedated, with a breathing tube inserted all the way down their airway to assist their breathing. It’s reserved for COVID-19 patients exhibiting the most serious symptoms, and even then is really designed for use only to free up availability of