Panamanian doctors and engineers are using piglets in their research experiments hoping to creating mechanical ventilator prototypes that will help patients with lung failure caused by the coronavirus.

The “Ventilators for Panama” project, which includes animal testing, is being conducted at the University of Panama veterinary complex.

Intensive care doctors, engineers and veterinarians are participating in the trials and are recording the details of the tests for the prototype.

“A lung injury is caused in the pig,” says Dr. Manuel Trujillo, a specialist working on the project who explained Thursday that the ventilators are then used to help them breath and that “90, 95 percent” of the tests are successful.

The results of the ventilator tests must be published and scientifically certified, which won’t take place in Panama.

According to engineer Rolando Gittens from the Institute for Scientific Research and High Technology Services, the system they are using is based on the automation of manual resuscitator bags, also known as Ambu.

Among “Ventilators for Panama” projects, the prototype “PSED-AMBU-PLC” has progressed rapidly through the necessary protocols.
Animal testing also plays a role in the global race for a Covid-19
vaccine.

Even as companies recruit tens of thousands of people for larger vaccine studies this summer, behind the scenes scientists still are testing ferrets,
monkeys and other animals in hopes of clues to those basic questions.

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