Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

Cincinnati-Designed Ventilators On Their Way To Brazil And Beyond

Courtesy of Venti-Now
Venti-Now President John Molander with the company's ventilator design that is being manufactured beginning the week of July 6.

Brazil, the second worst country in the world for COVID-19 cases, is getting some help from Cincinnati. The new non-profit Venti-Now will send ventilators there for free that it designed, built and tested in just three weeks. Tanzania is also on the list to get them.

Beginning the week of July 6, Blue Ash's PMC Smart Solutionswill begin manufacturing the devices at its Indiana plant.

Venti-Now was started by a group of retired P&G scientists who were looking for a scaleable design to send to countries in need. John Molander and Art Koehler teamed up with scientists from the University of Cincinnati and the Los Alamos National Laboratory. They also included doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, attorneys and FDA experts.

The non-profit was looking for a way to make a safe, effective and affordable ventilator. Koehler told doctors in Tanzania, "If you can maintain a carburetor on a 1960's automobile, then you can maintain this product."

Here's how it works:

It uses a pneumatic cylinder to automatically fill a football-shaped bag, getting air to the patient, who is wearing a mask. Think: thebag, valve, mask concept used to transport patients but with automation.

Procter & Gamble and other companies and organizations are helping fund the effort.


Ann Thompson has decades of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting.