Coronavirus: manage to save lives with 3D printing

The impact caused by the arrival of COVID-19 worldwide is profound. A few months after its origin, it has already spread throughout the world and has wreaked havoc in European countries such as Italy and Spain. No nation was prepared for a crisis of the size that has occurred due to the rapid spread of this virus. Thus, numerous difficulties have been generated, including the lack of essential health resources to give patients the care they require.

The crisis of the shortage of supplies can cause a higher death rate over the days. This has caused that not only medical personnel have set out to find a solution, but specialists from various areas try to support.

3D printing supplies

One of the most widely used devices in the treatment of people infected with COVID-19 is respirators. A percentage of coronavirus patients go on to develop infection in the lungs and failures in the respiratory system. This, of course, has generated the use of a large number of inputs and, as this crisis could not be foreseen, shortages occur.

This is the case of the valves of the respirators, which are the ones that ensure the flow of oxygen to the patient. These valves must be discarded after use, so they can run out quickly. This was the case of a healthcare center located in Brescia, Italy; Noticing that they no longer had valves, he decided to look for a solution.

The doctors of this center requested 3D printers from the technological community in the area. Help soon came with a local engineer who began manufacturing the valves necessary to treat COVID-19 patients. After this experience, many other medical assistance centers have replicated the request for help to solve the input crisis.

A similar situation has also occurred in Spain. Numerous 3D printers have been made available to health communities for the manufacture of a variety of supplies to face the crisis that this pandemic has caused.

A strong controversy has been created regarding the use of this type of technology to try to replicate the inputs in the most functional way possible. The manufacturers of this type of resource have expressed their opposition to this type of practice, for infringing intellectual property. In addition, they indicate that quality cannot be guaranteed and that they have a shorter shelf life.

Despite the controversy, governments, the medical community and the majority of the population support this type of initiative, given that this crisis is an alternative. Although it is true that this type of practice would not be acceptable in normal circumstances, right now we are in a moment where the application of alternative solutions is worthwhile.

At this moment, life is what must be safeguarded, in the best possible way and with what is within reach.

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