Milkor launches medical ventilator


South African defence company Milkor, in response to the local and international need to assist in the efforts to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, has designed and manufactured a standalone medical ventilator for emergency use.

Milkor has also developed a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Ventilator (CPAP machine) which was originally designed by Mercedes F1. The CPAP machine can be used in conjunction with Milkor’s non-invasive ventilation solution, which comprises a helmet-based ventilation system.

“We decided to channel our expertise, dedication and attention to detail towards the ever-growing threat that COVID-19 poses to peoples’ health and well-being. This resulted in the development of a low-cost and easy-to-use ventilator, which Milkor foresees will be in dire need in the months to come,” the company said.

Development of the ventilator was made possible by Milkor Medical, a subsidiary of Milkor, which Africa Business Development Director Marco Rincon said: “Worked around the clock to successfully complete the device to an advanced level of technological readiness (TRL).”

Based on the E-Vent project by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Milkor Medical Ventilator uses an actuator to compress a self-inflating bag (Ambu Bag), while the precise electronic controls allows the clinician to operate the ventilator in various modes such as: Controlling the Inspiration to Expiration ratio (I:E), the compression volume, and the rate of compression.

Furthermore, the design uses switch limiters, overpressure valves, pressure sensors, and PEEP valves to ensure the safety of the patient. “The robust design also provides doctors the ability to transport the ventilator anywhere from field hospitals to intensive care units, while maintaining low input costs,” Rincon highlights.

“We are extremely proud to be able to have our team of engineers be able to provide solutions to the biggest crisis mankind has witnessed since the Second Word War by developing the new ventilator and CPAP machines respectively,” Milkor said.

Milkor describes itself as a specialised developer of armoured vehicles, boats, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and is best known for its development of multiple grenade launchers (MGLs).