3D printing has helped to fill a gap in the heathcare supply chain during the coronavirus crisis when an Italian hospital treating patients with the disease ran out of valves for an intensive care device.
3D Printing Media Network reports that the hospital in Northern Italy needed a replacement valve for an oxygen mask and the supplier had run out, with no way to quickly get more.
With a large number of people infected with COVID-19 requiring intensive care and oxygenation, the machines are essential to help save lives.
After learning of the supply difficulties, Nunzia Vallini, editor of regional newspaper Giornale di Brescia, got in touch with Massimo Temporelli, founder of digital fabrication laboratory The FabLab in Milan, to ask for help.
Vallini explained that the hospital in Brescia, which is near one of the hardest-hit regions for coronavirus infections, urgently needed valves and could not get them from the usual supplier. She asked if it would be possible to 3D print them.
According to the report by 3D Printing Media Network, Temporelli made several phone calls to fablabs and companies in Milan and Brescia and a company in the local area, Isinnova, responded to the call for help. Its founder and chief executive, Cristian Fracassi, took a 3D printer directly to the hospital and within just a few hours was able to redesign and produce the missing piece.
Soon after the newly manufactured valve was confirmed to work, 10 patients were breathing with the assistance of a machine that uses a 3D printed valve.
Tags: 3D printing