This is great. We need more people to go Full-MacGyver right now.

The Star Tribune reports:

University of Minnesota is going ‘full-on MacGyver’ against COVID-19

Upon hearing that a surge of COVID-19 cases could consume all hospital ventilators, Dr. Stephen Richardson rummaged for parts in the medical device lab at the University of Minnesota and built a homemade version.

In a first test last week, the prototype kept a pig breathing for an hour and raised the prospect that low-budget ventilators could be built to solve a shortage. The makeshift ventilator was made from $150 in parts, with a motor ripped from another device and a red metal toolbox tray as its base.

“We just went full-on MacGyver,” said Richardson, a cardiac anesthesiologist at the U. “This device is designed to give people a chance.”

The attempt is one of several launched in one week at the U, which has refocused its know-how in translational research on how to prevent, treat and manage the global COVID-19 pandemic, which is caused by a new strain of coronavirus. The U has issued rapid response grants to researchers such as Richardson who are eager to test solutions, and has its institutional review board on standby to quickly consider the ethics of any human trials.

“We’re going to learn an enormous amount about the virus and where the targets are” to attack it, said Dr. Timothy Schacker, the U medical school’s vice dean of research.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.