New ‘iron lung’ ventilator endorsed by Stephen Hawking’s family is due to be trialled with the NHS


New ‘iron lung’ ventilator endorsed by Stephen Hawking’s family is due to be trialled with the NHS

  • Exovent was modelled on the ‘iron lung’ used to battle 20th century polio crisis
  • The device is set to be trialled at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle first
  • It can be used on a ward where patients are conscious, unlike most ventilators
  • Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID

A new ventilator endorsed by Stephen Hawking’s family is due to be trialled with the NHS to help tackle the deadly coronavirus.

Exovent has been modelled on the ‘iron lung’ used to battle the polio crisis in the 20th century and will be first trialled at Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.

It can be used on a normal ward where patients are conscious, unlike most of the devices being used in hospitals which need people to be sedated.

Exovent has been modelled on the ‘iron lung’ used to battle the polio crisis in the 20th century and will be first trialled at Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle

Firms have raced to build ventilators due to mounting fears the NHS will not be equipped to save a tsunami of patients needing them in the coming weeks.

The daily death toll from the coronavirus remained high on Saturday, as a further 917 people were reported to have died – making the total number of victims 9,875.

The family of the late theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking told the Sunday Telegraph: ‘As the family of a ventilated man, we know the life and death difference that access to this kind of medical technology makes.’

The family of the late theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking (pictured) said: 'As the family of a ventilated man, we know the life and death difference that access to this kind of medical technology makes'

The family of the late theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking (pictured) said: ‘As the family of a ventilated man, we know the life and death difference that access to this kind of medical technology makes’

Exovent has been a joint venture between Cambridge-based engineers Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group, the Warwick Manufacturing Group, the Royal National Throat Nose and Ear hospital and Imperial NHS Trust.

The ventilator is at the ‘detailed planning stage of development’, according to the newspaper, but 5,000 a week could be made.

The firms are talking to the NHS about how to use the technology to help Covid patients in intensive care units.

Firms have raced to build ventilators due to mounting fears the NHS (pictured, London's new Nightingale hospital) will not be equipped to save a tsunami of patients needing them in the coming weeks

Firms have raced to build ventilators due to mounting fears the NHS (pictured, London’s new Nightingale hospital) will not be equipped to save a tsunami of patients needing them in the coming weeks

Dr Malcolm Coulthard, a paediatrician at the Newcastle hospital, said: ‘Once the trials are undertaken, it is a quick and easy product for manufacturers to produce, it is a fairly robust product with few moving parts, it is something that can be quickly rolled out.

‘We are hoping that that product will be ready for us to test in patients with Covid-19 disease in about two weeks’ time.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk