Syringe pumps may become scarce in ICUs during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. We have enough respirators but the syringe pumps are a challenge. ~Professor Jérôme Pugin, head of intensive care HUG (article in

What it does

We provide an emergency syringe pump. This quick robust solution with the vital functionalities is compatible with interfacing systems such as iv-pumps and commonly used syringes. The system works on the regular inputs given by medical caretakers.

How I built it

Using the EV3 LEGO robotics package. Using "Ikea style" instructions to build a pump, reliably, quickly, from a single-purchase set of parts (micro-controller, IDE, sensors, motor drivers, stepper motors, structural elements, gears, interface, power supply and backup), and already well spread around the globe. University students supervised by professors can easily follow these instructions to optimize the device and for further testing.

Challenges I ran into

The entire team was extremely concerned that this device could be dangerous to use. This is why we did a risk analysis to create an overview of malfunction scenarios. We still want to provide this solution because if there is nothing else the alternative is that the patient does not receive the vital medicine.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

We spoke with users, the chief nurse of a hospital in Vaud. He was very supportive as he also saw how the crisis may lead to a shortage of equipment. Syringe pumps are vital in slow and precise drug administration. It cannot be done by hand. He mentioned even though it may look like a toy it would still be used it there is no other option.

We also spoke with the swiss association of hospitals

What I learned

We learned that even though a lot of us are scared of the team are scared of developing this further, we are still motivated enough to see if it can help.

What's next for #team-30minsyringepump

We are looking to address our needs:

  • prototyping
  • functionality tests
  • more equipment
  • more feedback from authorities
  • clarity on liability
  • universities to step in


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