Tesla’s ventilator, which utilizes some Model 3 parts, was analyzed and discussed by a healthcare worker recently. Veteran nurse Chris Vanderstock watched Tesla’s video about its ventilator and offered some of his insights on the subject.
Tesla released a video on its official YouTube channel about the ventilator it will be producing with Medtronic. The video offered detailed information about the ventilator Tesla would be producing with Medtronic in Giga New York.
Nurse Vanderstock seemed impressed when he learned that the Tesla ventilator incorporated at least sixteen car parts from the Model 3. He concluded that at least two-thirds of Tesla’s ventilator was made from car parts.
The first component the nurse pointed out was the ventilator’s mixing chamber. He explained that inside, traditional hospital ventilators took in air, oxygen, and nitrogen and combined the elements inside a mixing chamber.
Vanderstock compared the air that a sophisticated ventilator would provide to the air coming from a simple resuscitator. He explained that a resuscitator only provided air from the environment and maybe oxygen from a tank or other source. However, it did not have the same ability to combine certain gasses as a mixing chamber.
Then Vanderstock noted that Tesla had included pressure monitors into its ventilator, which he said were essential components of the machine. Pressure monitors are crucial because too much air could cause damage to the lung’s alveoli.
Healthline defines the alveoli as “workhorses” of the respiratory system. The alveoli are attached to the end of the lung’s bronchial tubes and have three functions: a) ventilation, b) diffusion and c) perfusion. Alveoli are responsible for defusing oxygen into and taking carbon dioxide out of the blood. The body gets its oxygen supply from the bloodstream.
He also said that the Tesla ventilator’s flow sensors were necessary because healthcare workers needed to measure the amount of air or volume of air that is given to a patient in milliliters. “Kudos to these guys,” the nurse commented.
Vanderstock also observed that Tesla had placed two filters into its ventilator. The two filters protect the patient and the professionals working the ventilator. Double filters are particularly important because the virus responsible for the current pandemic spreads through droplets that could end up in the air. The second filter could keep the air circulating around healthcare workers clean, thereby reducing the chances of infection.
According to the nurse, Medtronic’s ventilators also had two filters. His comment hinted that Medtronic’s machines might have inspired the design for Tesla’s ventilators. It seems that Tesla’s engineers took the time to study ventilators before actually creating their own.
Vanderstock did have some suggestions for Tesla’s engineers that could improve the company’s ventilator. For example, he suggested ventilator modes. Each mode would adjust to the type of breathing assistance each patient needs. He informed viewers that ventilators sometimes assist with the patient’s breathing.
“You need to have some sort of spontaneous or synchronization method, so as you’re weening a patient off a ventilator, you’ve actually stopped the machine pushing the air. [The ventilator] waits until it senses that negative pressure created by the patient taking a breath in, and when [the ventilator] senses that it pushes the air into the patient as assists them with their breathing.”
Overall, Nurse Vanderstock seemed pleased with Tesla’s ventilator and astonished that the EV tech company was able to make it out of car parts. “Amazing, like, the ingenuity of these engineers is incredible. To think that they’ve used a car part—a car part—a screen, a computer, and an infotainment system to actually help—potentially—patients. Very good job at Tesla. Well done,” he said.
Featured Image Credit: Chris Vanderstock/YouTubeFollow @PurplePanda88