Open Source Respirators To Fight Coronavirus

  • Hospitals are facing problems in regulating the demand of respirators and other breathing apparatus.
  • A hospital in Italy has started using 3D printed versions of the otherwise patented valves.

By the means of its ‘ultimate medical hackathon’, Hackaday has called upon the open source community to support in creating a blueprint for an open source respirator that could be manufactured and installed to help those grieving from coronavirus. A respirator is a gadget made to safeguard the wearer from breathing in hazardous airs, including particulate matter, airborne microorganisms

As observed in Italy, hospitals came across obstacles issues in maintaining the medical apparatus to provide respiratory assist to patients. Cases have been reported where suppliers have not been able to provide the hospital staff with valves because of the Coronavirus outbreak.

A hospital in Brescia, a city in northern Italy where the coronavirus outbreak has been most severe, with the help of a local firm specializing in 3D-printing has started making use of 3D-printed valves for its ‘reanimation’ machines. Cristian Fracassi, chief executive of Isinnova revealed that he reverse-engineered and 3D-printed the valves as the “ordinary” supply chain couldn’t keep up with the hospital’s unexpected great sudden demand. Though, as per Business Insider, the patent-holders have threatened Fracassi to sue him for copyright infringement.

This is an open far-reaching call to deliver a certain type of respirators. There are certain breathing apparatuses that aerosolize the virus, diffusing it into the air and hence harming those around the infected. To battle this, Hackaday has specified that Nasal cannula-based NIV systems are required. These humidify the air, mix it with oxygen and then push a constant stream of it into the lungs of the user.

If a simple working system can be designed, it will definitely give a major boost to manufacturers all over the world which will prove to be a major impact in the fight against COVID-19.


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