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Mississippi doctor makes 'last resort' ventilator with items from a hardware store

Dr. Charles Robertson says he hopes it will get FDA approval as concern grows over shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic.

JACKSON, Miss — Desperate times. Desperate measures.

An anesthesiology professor at the University of Mississippi Medical Center says he's designed a "last resort" ventilator he hopes can alleviate a supply shortage during the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Charles Robertson showcased the machine at a news conference Tuesday.

"This is a ventilator built for emergency use in a crisis situation where the coronavirus patients have exhausted all available ventilators," he said.

The device is made from accessible supplies like garden hose sections, adapters, valves and a digital lamp timer available in most hardware stores.

Dr. Robertson says he's tested the ventilator with other doctors and nurses.

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He adds he's already made 170 of these devices and hopes to soon receive approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use.

Mississippi has at least 2,003 confirmed coronavirus cases and 67 deaths as of Wednesday, according to state health officials.

Nationwide, the U.S. has over 432,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 an nearly 15,000 deaths as of Thursday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 24,000 people have recovered.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

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