Coronavirus: Mini ventilators out of modified scuba gear help patients in Italy
The team at ISINNOVA collaborated with Dr Renato Favero to make a ventilator out of a scuba mask which could fix the possible shortage of hospital C-PAP masks for sub-intensive therapy.
Northern Italy has been one of the worst-hit regions across the world by the deadly coronavirus. The country has already overtaken China in the number of deaths (6077 as on Tuesday) while the numbers of positive cases are continuing to surge as healthcare officials fight hard to contain the virus. One of the biggest challenge for the Italian government has been the lack ofn infrastructure to take care of such a large volume of patients. Thankfully, as they sayy, necessity is thee mother of invention, and a few Italians have got together to design a mini ventilator by modifying a readily available scuba gear.
The product was made by ISINNOVA (Institute of Studies for the Integration of Systems) based in Italy who were sent the scuba gear by French sports good manufacturers Decathalon.
ISINNOVA, who specializes in 3D printing, was contacted by Dr. Renato Favero, former head physician of the Gardone Valt Tompia Hospital. Doctor Favero shared with the team an idea to fix the possible shortage of hospital C-PAP masks for sub-intensive therapy, which has emerged as a big problem linked to the spread of COVID-19. They were able to achieve the goal using 3D printers at their office in Brescia (Northern Italy).
The team then worked together to construct an emergency ventilator mask, realized by adjusting a snorkeling mask already available on the market. They contact Decathlon for the original CAD drawing of their Easybreath mask and added the required components to produce the mini ventilator. Respiratory problems are among the most severe symptoms of Covid-19 but with the number of patients exceeding the capacities of hospitals there had been desperate calls for more infrastructure.
ISINNOVA immediately patented their new design to ensure profit-hungry companies don't inflate the prices and declared patent-free to use for all hospitals who would want to make the same. With the whole world battling against the novel coronavirus, the discovery might lead to an effective way of saving lives. India crossed the 500-mark for positive cases on Tuesday as the multiple cities went into lockdowns while others imposed strict curfews. From the 519 cases so far, 39 have been discharged so far while nine have passed away.