UCR is producing ventilators that are on schedule to be used in October for covid-19 patients. Over the next few days, Respira-UCR will undergo a second phase of animal testing to be followed with human testing in September.
The first trial was on human-like simulators then another was done on two pigs. The next test will include 7 pigs. These animals are chosen because of their anatomical similarities to humans. Protocols were approved by the International Committee for the Care and Use of Animals of the UCR and the tests were done with doctors and veterinarians present.
A commercial ventilator costs between $30,000 and $50,000, while the one designed at the UCR costs about $4,500. It’s development included professors and students from many schools of the UCR and has the support of the CCSS, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications, as well as private companies that provided materials and funding.
Nearby countries, including Nicaragua and Honduras, have requested the devices as soon as they are in production. A group of Costa Rican doctors plans to buy some to send to Nicaragua.