An Italian 3D-printer company has devised a method to turn snorkelling masks into ventilators, which will be of huge benefit to coronavirus patients.
The coronavirus affects people’s respiratory systems and there is already a worldwide shortage of ventilators.
But in this time of crisis, various companies have been prepared to diverge from their usual business in order to try and save lives.
Louis Vuitton have for example been assisting with hand sanitizer.
And car manufactures are also ready to assist with building ventilators
Now an Italian company called Isinnova are at the forefront of a revolution to produce 3D ventilators on a large scale.
Isinnova have already developed a 3D-printed valve for a Northern Italian hospital in Brescia.
Company founder and CEO Cristian Fracassi took a 3D-printer to the hospital and was able to design and produce the valves in just a few hours.
The valves were needed for the respiratory machines which help patients to breathe.
Other companies have succeeded in converting swimming masks into protective PPE masks (standard protective face masks).
Isinnova are now taking things a step further as they team up with a French snorkelling mask company called Decathlon.
Using 3D-printer technology, a new component has been designed which will connect the mask to the ventilator machine.
The Isinnova website provided some background to how it all came about:
“Doctor Favero [head physician of the Gardone Valtrompia Hospital], shared with us an idea to fix the possible shortage of hospital C-PAP masks for sub-intensive therapy. Which is emerging as a concrete problem linked to the spread of Covid-19. It’s the construction of an emergency ventilator mask, realized by adjusting a snorkelling mask already available on the market.”
Tests have been successful
The prototype 3D ventilator mask was tested in Chiari Hospital and the hospital were reported to be ‘enthusiastic’ about the results.
The mask and it’s link to the respirator are not yet authorised.
But patients are able to sign declarations to use such uncertified biomedical devices.
Isinnova also stated that they’ll be will allow the patent for the invention to remain free to use.
Their computer files will also be publicly shared so that other 3D-printer companies can manufacture the ventilator masks.