Canadian Doctor Rigs Ventilator to Treat Nine Patients Instead of Just One

The device has garnered many fans, including Elon Musk.
Loukia Papadopoulos

As hospitals scramble to secure more ventilators, some doctors are getting creative in order to help their patients. Such is the case with Canadian doctor Dr. Alain Gauthier, an anesthetist at the Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital in Ontario.



Gauthier, who has a Ph.D. in respiratory mechanics, turned one hospital ventilator into a machine that can serve nine clients using do-it-yourself mechanics. The process was so brilliant that some have even called him an "evil genius."

Gauthier was inspired by YouTube videos created by two Detroit doctors in 2006, according to CBC News. He said he created a complex ventilator to offer people the best chance at survival.

"At one point we may not have other options," Gauthier told CBC News. "The option could be well, we let people die or we give that a chance."

The nine-person ventilator has now made headlines around the world after a colleague of Gauthier's tweeted a picture of it. "So in ten minutes the evil genius who is one of our GP anesthetists (with a Ph.D. in diaphragmatic mechanics) increased our rural hospitals' ventilator capacity from one to nine!!!" he tweeted.

The tweet has garnered more than 71K likes and has been retweeted 16K times.

Even billionaire philanthropist Elon Musk seems to have been impressed by Gauthier's efforts as he commented on the tweet that it was an "interesting thread." Musk even got into the logistics of the ventilator adding to his tweet that: "A single computer, pump & pressure accumulator would be fine for many patients, but ideally individual valves per patient to personalize care & avoid cross-flow risk."