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Retro Vent 19

Bringing a $700 ventilator to the world at 10,000 units/week

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Modernizing the Bird Mark 7

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The Bird Mark 7 ventilator (Mark 7) was introduced in 1958 and was widely used in the United States into the 1990s and is still in use by the British National Health Service. The classic design requires no electricity. Older clinicians are already familiar with it. It is effective at saving lives but the original design lacks some key features that make it applicable to the COVID-19 crisis.

The National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI), UC Davis and Livermore Instruments Inc. are partnering to rapidly redesign the Mark 7 to include simplified supply chain components and to mass produce a modern version that adds critical features. We call our new model the Retro Vent 19.

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Distributing Manufacturing Information

The team is streamlining the Mark 7 design for mass production by minimizing the parts count and using only parts that are easy to make or source. We are also developing the tooling, fixtures and instructions for single station assembly and functional testing. Once we have validated our prototypes with our test partners, we will simultaneously enter mass production and disclose the process to the world. Open competition will reduce the price and increase the supply.

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Get Involved

Our engineering team has already drawn the Mark 7 as-built and we are open sourcing those designs. We plan to ship improved units ASAP.

As a Bird Mark 7 Expert

Did you design or maintain a fleet of Bird Mark 7s? Or do you have a Bird Mark 7, 8, 10, or 14 ventilator or stand you can donate to the project?

As a Manufacturer

Are you an OEM interested in performing the assembly?

As a Pro Bono Legal Counsel

Can you provide legal advice in the medical device field?

As a Healthcare Administrator

If you would like to receive units when they're available, please contact us.

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About the Team

Early in the Covid-19 pandemic, David Fergenson of Livermore Instruments Inc., a small Bay Area mass spectrometer manufacturer, responded to the ventilator crisis. After consulting with experts on three continents, David realized that the most expedient way to meet the global demand for ventilators was to create an open source Bird Mark 7 (Mark 7) with an updated design to add modern safety features and streamline it for mass production.

On March 20, 2020, an old Mark 7 arrived and a couple engineers, Mike Kjelson and Dietrich Nordmeyer from Energy Recovery, along with Chenise Leveriza of DevonWay, volunteered their after work hours and weekends to bring this project online with one goal in mind: to save lives. With their dedication, and with the sacrifices made by their families, they produced this STEP file of an as-built Bird Mark 7 in 11 days.

Friends from National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) and UC Davis started their relentless efforts to find funding and technological support for the project. Autodesk provided CAD software for us and Asana provided project management tools. A call from a stranger, Alex Izvorski, brought in help from 3D Systems who, along with Waygate Technologies, performed the 3D metrology of the manifold.


David Fergenson

President, Livermore Instruments


Michael Kjelson

Senior Mechanical Engineer, Energy Recovery


Dietrich Nordmeyer

Quality Manager, Energy Recovery


Chenise Leveriza

Marketing Manager, DevonWay

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Formerly MARK-19

To prevent any potential confusion, we have changed our name from MARK-19 to Retro Vent 19. Our ventilator design is based off the Bird Mark 7, but we want to clarify that we are not associated with Vyaire Medical Group which includes Bird Products Corporation (Bird Products). Please contact us if you have any questions.

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