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Mount Sinai Turns Hundreds of Machines for Sleep Apnea into Hospital Ventilators, Shares Instructions Worldwide

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Members of the Mount Sinai team that created the ventilator prototype seen here, included, from left, Drew Copeland, RPSGT; Thomas Tolbert, MD; Brian Mayrsohn, MD; and Hooman Poor, MD.

A team of pulmonologists, anesthesiologists, sleep and critical care specialists, and medical students at the Mount Sinai Health System are reconfiguring hundreds of donated machines that are typically used at home for sleep apnea and deploying them as ventilators to be used for severely ill patients who are hospitalized with COVID-19. Mount Sinai has shared the protocols and instructions with the Greater New York Hospital Association and the American Thoracic Society, as well as with other hospitals that are dealing with a national shortage of invasive ventilators during this pandemic. COVID-19 affects the respiratory system and has greatly increased the number of patients who are entering intensive care units and require assisted breathing.

When Mount Sinai received a shipment of 200 ResMed VPAP ST machines as a donation from Elon Musk, Chief Executive Officer of Tesla, Inc., in late March, a Health System task force was immediately organized to repurpose them. Within several days, the team put together a prototype that was tested in the Simulation HELPS Center at Mount Sinai, a unique laboratory run by the Department of Anesthesia that enables clinicians to simulate human responses to innovative technologies and procedures

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