While China seems to have taken control over the spread of novel coronavirus within its borders, other countries across the globe are still struggling with this virus. What’s even worse is that the outbreak is still getting worse. Therefore, the demand for necessary respiratory equipment for COVID-19 patients is also increasing worldwide.
In response to the situation, engineers at Isinnova have come up with an ingenious idea. In collaboration with Decathlon, a sports goods dealer, and some medical experts, these Italian engineers have started to transform the full-face snorkeling masks into respiratory equipment that can be hooked up to ventilators to help COVID-19 patients struggling to breathe.
Engineers Cristian Fracassi and Alessandro Romaiol of Isinnova – an Italian engineering company, were approached by Dr. Renato Favero, former head physician at the Gardone Valtrompia Hospital, with a proposal to mitigate the shortage of C-PAP masks due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Since the hospital was running short of C-PAP masks due to the quick spread of Coronavirus in Italy, Dr. Favero came up with the idea of turning readily-available snorkel masks into life-saving masks that can be linked to a ventilating machine.
Later Decathlon was also included in the project as producer, ideator, and supplier of Easybreath snorkel masks. Isinnova started working on the CAD designs after studying them and made certain changes, including the basic design and 3D printing of Charlotte and Dave valves – part that connects the mask to the ventilator.
On their website, the company says that their prototype was tested successfully on one of their colleagues inside Chiari Hospital. The hospital tested the device on a COVID-19 patient. With a few modifications, the new ventilation mask passed the test with flying colors.
Only skilled specialists should be allowed to print and assemble these masks. Isinnova also patented the valve to prevent any speculation on pricing. All the instructions and needed files are provided on Isinnova’s official website.
Check out the full video explaining how to turn a snorkel mask into a ventilator.