An MIT team created a ventilator that only costs $100 using a common hospital item
via MIT

One of the biggest obstacles to treating patients with COVID-19 is the worldwide ventilator shortage. New York state is the hardest-hit region in the U.S. and the situation is so dire, Governor Andrew Cuomo recently put out a call for 30,000 additional ventilator units.

A study from Imperial College in London found that an estimated 30% of all people hospitalized due to the virus will need a ventilator.


COVID-19 creates inflammation and fluid build-up in the lungs, which makes it very difficult for people to breathe — especially those with chronic respiratory problems. For these patients, a functioning ventilator can mean the difference between life or death.

One of the major obstacles to ventilator production is the cost. A ventilator can cost hospitals up to $30,000.

A team at MIT has been working day and night to create an emergency ventilator that costs only $100 to produce. The ventilator uses a bag-valve resuscitator, a common hospital item.

A bag-valve resuscitator or Ambu bag, is a self-inflating, hand-operated resuscitator used by first-responders to temporarily help people having difficulty breathing before they are able to hook them up to a ventilator.

They're affordable, costing about $20.

via Wikimedia Commons

The MIT engineers created a mechanism that squeezes and releases the bag without needing a human operator. The big issue is that the ventilator has to be extremely reliable because any mechanical failure would surely result in death.

"The primary consideration is patient safety," one team member told SciTechDaily. "So we had to establish what we're calling minimum clinical functional requirements." The team members wish to remain anonymous to prevent any unnecessary attention that would delay their work.

The ventilator must also be adjustable to pump the correct amount of air given the patient's lung capacity.

The ventilator project didn't start from scratch. It was informed by a project done a decade ago by MIT students in a Medical Device Design class. The students published a paper outlining their design and testing, but the work stopped there.

The new team used their research as a jumping off point to make their ventilator.

via MIT

In just over a week, the team has gone from empty benches to a working prototype. Its prime motivator has been reports of doctors being forced to ration ventilators.

"We all work together, and ultimately the goal is to help people, because people's lives understandably hang in the balance," one team member says.

The engineers are currently looking to have the ventilator approved by the FDA.

"The Department of Health and Human Services released a notice stating that all medical interventions related to Covid-19 are no longer subject to liability, but that does not change our burden of care." he said. "At present, we are awaiting FDA feedback" about the project. "Ultimately, our intent is to seek FDA approval. That process takes time, however."

Ultimately, the team hopes to publish the plans for the device online so that other engineers can improve on their designs and to make the device available to hospitals across the globe.

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Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday are teaming up to find the people who lead with love everyday.

Know someone in your neighborhood who's known for their optimistic attitude, commitment to bettering their community and always leading with love? Tell us about them for the chance to win a $2,000 grant to keep doing good in their community.

Nomination ends November 22, 2020

File:Pornhub-logo.svg - Wikimedia Commons

A 2015 survey conducted by the National Union of Students found that 60% of respondents turned to porn to fill in the gaps in sex education. While 40% of those people said they learned a little, 75% of respondents said they felt porn created unrealistic expectations when it comes to sex. Some of the unrealistic expectations from porn can be dangerous. A study found that 88% of porn contained violence, and another study found that those who consumed porn were more likely to become sexually aggressive.

But now the thing that breaks those unrealistic expectations… might also be porn? Pornhub has launched a sex education section.

The adult website's first series is simply titled, "Pornhub Sex Ed" and contains 11 videos and is accessible through the Pornhub Sexual Wellness Center. The section also contains articles, some showing real anatomy and examples in order to bust myths people may have picked up on other portions of the website.

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A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.

I saw this poster today and I was going to just let it go, but then I kept feeling tugged to say something.

Melanie Cholish/Facebook

While this poster is great to bring attention to the issue of child trafficking, it is a "shocking" picture of a young girl tied up. It has that dark gritty feeling. I picture her in a basement tied to a dripping pipe.

While that sounds awful, it's important to know that trafficking children in the US is not all of that. I can't say it never is—I don't know. What I do know is most young trafficked children aren't sitting in a basement tied up. They have families, and someone—usually in their family—is trafficking them.

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While many of us have understandably let the challenges of 2020 get under our skin and bring us down, a young man from Florida was securing his place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Chris Nikic became the first person with Down syndrome to complete a full triathlon.

For the majority of people, a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride or a 26.2 mile run would be difficult on its own. The Ironman competition requires participants to complete them all in one grueling race. In a statement, Special Olympics Florida President and CEO Sherry Wheelock called Chris "an inspiration to all of us." She continued, "We are incredibly proud of Chris and the work he has put in to achieve this monumental goal. He's become a hero to athletes, fans, and people across Florida and around the world."

Nikic's journey to become an Ironman started off as a challenge far less lofty. He and his father, Nik, created the "1 percent better challenge." The idea was to keep Chris motivated during the pandemic and beyond. According to The Washington Post, the idea was for Chris to improve his workouts by one percent each day because he "doesn't like pain" but loves "food, videos games and my couch." The plan was to keep building strength and stamina while keeping his eye on the grand prize of completing a triathlon. Nik told the Panama City News Herald, "I was concerned because after high school and after graduation a lot of kids with Down syndrome become isolated and just start living a life of isolation. I said, 'Look, let's go find him something to get him back into the world and get him involved,' so we started looking around and we were fortunate that at the same time Special Olympics Florida started this triathlon program, and I thought, 'What a great way to get him started, get him in shape and get him to make some friends.'"


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