A 3D-printer company has designed and printed 100 life-saving oxygen valves after a local hospital, caring for more than 200 patients with coronavirus had run out of the essential equipment piece.
The Italian hospital had no more valves to connect intensive care patients to life-saving oxygen machines in the ICU.
Using 3D-printing technology, engineer Cristian Fracassi printed the necessary oxygen valves within a 24 hour period for his local hospital in northern Italy.
Fracassi, founder of the start-up 3D printing company, Isinnova, had heard about the hospital’s supply shortage via local media and offered to help speed up the supply.
“The [valves] are impossible to find at the moment, and production cant keep up with demand,” Fracassi told local media.
Fracassi brought the 3D printer directly to the hospital, as reported by 3dprinting media. Within a few hours his team had reproduced the missing part, known as the Venturi valve.
Ten patients have since been accompanied by the 3D printed valves, used to connect intensive care patients to breathing machines.
The Brescia hospital had 250 patients with the virus.
Italy is now battling the world’s worst outbreak of coronavirus, surpassing China this week.
As more patients are hospitalised with Covid-19, this has put increasing strain on resources in the health sector.
Francassi said the 3D-printed version cost less than €1 ($1.85) each to make, with the prototype taking a few hours to design.
“We simply want this story to remain only one thing,” Francassi said on his social media page.
“The community—made of a hospital, a newspaper, a team of professionals, made a race against time and saved lives. That’s it.”
“Tonight we go to sleep knowing we did something useful.”