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Hospitals can replace ventilators with 3D printing

There is currently an alarming shortage of mechanical ventilators that can be used to treat COVID-19 patients in many hospitals around the world. In response to this crisis, Belgian 3D printing company Materialize has developed a 3D printable device that turns the standard equipment available in most hospitals into a mask that allows coronavirus patients to bring the oxygen they need to their lungs . The company's intelligent solution promises to create a high overpressure in the patient's lungs without using a conventional ventilator.

“The 3D printed connector converts this standard equipment into a non-invasive PEEP mask that can be connected to [an]. Oxygenation to make breathing easier for coronavirus patients, ”said Bram Smits, external communications manager at Materialize, about Digital Trends. “This solution gives patients a longer period of time before mechanical ventilators are needed for treatment and helps separate them from ventilators earlier, freeing them up for patients with critical needs. By using standard medical equipment, including a non-invasive respiratory mask (NIV), a filter and a PEEP valve, the solution is simple and familiar to use by medical professionals. “

Like many 3D printing companies and professionals, Materialize employees said they were encouraged to act by realizing that additive manufacturing can currently help in ways that few other industries can.

  PEEP Mask 1

"We looked at different ways, including printing parts for respirators and printing face masks," continued Smits. “We contacted the doctors to better understand the medical needs of the patients. In these conversations, we understood that there is a need to find a solution for patients who need more oxygen and pressure before they need to be intubated – in a way that also protects medical staff and air pollution as much as possible avoids [possible]. “

Building your solution – including prototyping, testing, and iterating – took just a week. While 3D printing accelerates the creation of medical devices, it is still important that they comply with regulations to ensure the safety of patients and caregivers. The Materialize team is currently supporting a clinical trial to put the technology through its paces.

What this means for patients, Smits said: "We hope that it will be tested, registered and available on the market by the middle of the year -April. ”

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