Prisma Health Innovation: VESper™
The VESper™ Ventilator Expansion Splitter is an innovative device introduced early in the COVID-19 pandemic by Prisma Health and colleagues due to an anticipated severe ventilator shortage facing the country at the time.
Prisma Health, Johnson & Johnson, and the VESper team obtained Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization (EAU) for the VESper ventilator splitter in Spring, 2020.
As providers became more experienced in treating COVID-19 patients, as well as increasing COVID-19 testing and public health educational awareness measures, the immediate need for the VESper device was resolved, the demand for the devices declined, and no recipient of the devices reported any clinical use. Therefore, FDA’s EUA was rescinded on August 28, 2020.
What is VESper™?
VESper™ is a unique ventilator expansion device that allows a single ventilator to be fitted with the VESper ventilator splitter and used for two rescuable patients for ventilatory support during public health emergencies, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, until individual ventilators were available.
At no cost to healthcare providers, approximately 2,900 devices were distributed to 101 hospitals and healthcare providers in 35 states.
How VESper™ works
Two VESper™ devices are needed for each ventilator, one on the intake and one on the return. VESper™ splits the airflow to the ventilator, acting as a Y connector.
Multiple combinations of the VESper™ device can be configured to allow a single machine to be used for up to two patients. It is important to match the clinical characteristics of the patients connected to a single machine as the machine will deliver the same settings such as oxygen concentration, amount of air in each breath and the pressure of the air delivered.