Negative pressure ventilator


I would like to ask a question, that has been troubling me. I keep hearing about the shortage of ventilators during this terrible time. They are trying desperately to provide more of them, but they are not easily manufactured. These are modern high tech positive pressure ventilators. Of course they need to do everything possible to acquire more of these modern ventilators.

If this is not possible in a timely manner, couldn't something else serve as a bridge. What about a modern day version of the iron lung? It's been tested extensively and it's a much simpler machine. It should be easier to manufacture, especially by companies who have never done this before. They were building them back in the 1920's, surely we could do it easier with today's technology. They could be made of plexiglass, instead of iron.

My question to those who work with ventilators, is would this work? Could Covid19 patients be ventilated using negative pressure devices? This would mean putting them in an airtight container with their head outside the box. Then the pressure around the body is changed causing the lungs to inflate and deflate. This seems like a reasonable option, given the dire situation. What do you think?


signet, LPN

38 Posts

I finally got an answer on this question. I'm told that the negative pressure ventilator will not work on Covid19 patients. This is because there lungs are too stiff from fluid and infection. This type of ventilator could, however, be used for people who don't have Covid19. This would be useful at a time when modern ventilators are scarce. There is an open source design positive pressure ventilator. The design is available at This Design can be built for $200-$400 in a home work shop. There's a video that shows it works. With the current situation, something is better than nothing. I pray that some solution can be found, before too many people die. God have mercy on us!