In recent days we have been contacted by a former head physician of the Gardone Valtrompia Hospital, Dr. Renato Favero, who’ve got in touch with Isinnova through a doctor from the Chiari Hospital, the health facility for which we were manufacturing the emergency valves with 3D printing process. Doctor Favero shared with us an idea to fix the possible shortage of hospital C-PAP masks for sub-intensive therapy, which is emerging as a concrete problem linked to the spread of Covid-19: it’s the construction of an emergency ventilator mask, realized by adjusting a snorkeling mask already available on the market.
We analyzed the proposal together with the inventor. We contacted in little time Decathlon, as ideator, productor and supplier of the snorkeling Easybreath mask. The company was immediately willing to cooperate by providing the CAD drawing of the mask we had identified. The product was dismantled, studied, and the changes to be made were evaluated. A new component was then designed to guarantee the connection to the ventilator. We called the link Charlotte valve, and we quickly printed it using 3D printing.
The prototype as a whole has been tested on one of our colleagues directly inside the Chiari Hospital, connected to the ventilator body, and has proven to be correctly working. The hospital itself was enthusiastic about the idea and decided to test the device on a patient in need. The testing was successful. We’are reiterating that the idea is designed for healthcare facilities and wants to help in realization of an emergency mask in the case of a full-blown difficult situation, where is not possible to in find official healthcare supplies. Neither the mask nor the link are certified and their use is subject to a situation of mandatory need.
Usage by the patient is subjected to the acceptance of use of an uncertified biomedical device, by providing a signed declaration.
Whereas the effectiveness of the project, we decided to urgently patent the link valve (Charlotte Valve), to prevent any speculation on the price of the component. We clarify that the patent will remain free to use, because it is in our intention that all hospitals in need could use it if necessary.
We decided to freely share the file for the realization of the link in 3d printing. Unlike the respirator valve, the link is easy to make, so it is possible for all makers to try to print it correctly.