Lifesaver: Hungarian firm develops coronavirus-specific portable respirator

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A team of Hungarians have developed a new, coronavirus-specific portable respirator that is currently undergoing expedited licensing and will soon enter series production, national news agency MTI reported.

The respirator, developed by technical equipment firm Femtonics Kft and the Semmelweis Medical University, is tailored to the treatment needs of coronavirus patients, can be operated both from the electrical grid or with batteries, and has a self-contained gas recycling system, meaning that its operation does not place any strain on a hospital’s gas network.

The project was one of 20 similar medical projects financed by Hungary’s Information and Technology Ministry and selected from 500 grant applicants.

Femtonics CEO Balázs Rózsa said that the new respirator, which is currently being patented, will be easy to operate even by doctors with less experience.

During development, their engineers also took into account parts availability, selecting the 400 to 500 components so that those meet all relevant medical standards and are readily available, thus once the licensing procedure is completed, production will remain uninterrupted.

Anesthesiologist Dr. András Lorx, from the medical side of the development team, said that the appliance has a very efficient gas circulation system and because the breathing gas mix is recycled it does not need to be connected to a hospital gas network. It was also designed to thoroughly filter gases vented by the respirator, which will ensure the safety of the medical staff operating them.

According to the latest official count, Hungary has 2,168 coronavirus cases, 225 casualties and 11,049 people in mandatory home isolation. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said over the weekend that based on experts’ advice, he expects the epidemic to peak around May 3 in Hungary.

Title image: Isolation bed at the Semmelweis Hospital in Kiskunhalas, southern Hungary. (MTI/Csaba Bús)

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