Israeli-Made Portable Ventilator Saving Lives Of American Troops In Afghanistan

An Israeli-made ventilation device is being used by the U.S. Army to save troops injured in Afghanistan, David Shamah, technology reporter for The Times of Israel, reported on Tuesday.

Pocket BVM (bag valve mask device) is the brainchild of Dov Maisel, an American-born Israeli, and his friend Akiva Pollack, both of whom are volunteers for United Hatzalah, one of the top rescue services in Israel. A BVM is attached to a victim’s face to force air into his mouth and lungs to keep him alive until he can be treated.

Whenever Maisel rushed to the scene of an emergency during the second intifada, “we had to gather up our intubation and array management,” he recalled. “We would get to the scene of a bombing or shooting attack and try to help the victims, spending precious seconds gathering up our ventilator equipment and moving from victim to victim.”

It was from that experience that Maisel developed the concept of a “portable, flexible, foldable” device that could be quickly collapsed into its case and just as quickly popped up for use. In order to achieve his goal, Maisel had to make the device more flexible to help it easily fit into a small transportable case. Although he searched for similar improvements, Maisel couldn’t find records of anyone who had made such an improvement on BVMs since the device was invented in 1953.

With money from an angel investor, Maisel perfected the device in late 2013. He started promoting the device at medical conventions, where a representative of the U.S. Army saw it. Since then, Maisel said, “it’s really taken off since the Americans adopted it last year, and now we are working with several NATO armies, first-aid groups in Europe and Asia, businesses, hospitals, and airlines among others.”

One of the airlines that has adopted the Pocket BVM is El Al, Israel’s national airline. The device has been used in emergency situations around the world, including in the aftermath of the earthquake in Nepal earlier this year.

Maisel has traveled the world promoting his life-saving device. “Once I went on a mission with an American rescue unit in Afghanistan, and they very proudly showed off their Pocket BVM – and nearly fainted when I told them I had invented it,” he recounted.

Maisel expressed his hope that he might invent other devices to “to ensure that we as first-responders can get help to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. ”

[Photo: dov maisel / YouTube ]