Italian hospital uses 3D printer to avoid shortage of respiratory support devices during coronavirus outbreak

When a hospital in northern Italy began to run low on replacement valves for an intensive care device that provides respiratory support to COVID-19 patients, the Brescia-based medical center tapped a 3D printing company to replicate and create the devices, according to 3D Printing Media Network.

The hospital's supplier for the replacement valve had run out last week, but the facility needed the parts as soon as possible for reanimation machines. The novel coronavirus has rapidly spread across Italy, and high numbers of patients are in need of intensive care and oxygenation as they fight the infection, according to the report.

In Italy, 31,506 cases of COVID-19 and 2,503 deaths have been reported as of 10:30 a.m., CDT, March 18.

Rome-based 3D printing company Isinnova helped the hospital; the company's CEO Cristian Fracassi on March 13 brought a 3D printer to the medical center and was able to redesign and produce the missing part in just a few hours, the publication reports. By the next day, 10 patients' breathing was being supported by Venturi oxygen masks, which now use the 3D printed valves.

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