A group of high school students have created a low-cost ventilator using pieces of wood, lego and a power drill.
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The eight students from St John's College in Hastings took three weeks during lockdown to work on 'Project Pear', coming up with a $40 prototype which connects to a bag valve mask.
Lead inventor Dylan Wijaya, a Year 12 student, said the ventilator had successfully run for two days and they hoped to conduct a clinical test once the lockdown was over.
"We wanted to make it as affordable as possible and to as many people as possible. It's made out of wood joined together by pieces of lego and run by a hand drill."
When word came their school would close for the alert level 4 lockdown there was uncertainty, confusion and sadness, Wijaya said.
"But within hours we decided this is what we wanted to do."
Working remotely had its challenges, but the group met regularly with Zoom meetings, he said.
Now the ventilator was working, calibrations were being adjusted and refined to match standard breathing patterns.
Wijaya hoped they could approach Hawke's Bay District Health Board with their idea once the lockdown was over, he said.
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