Italian Engineers Get Creative to Address Medical Supply Shortage

By: Marie McCarthy

Italy has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. The Boot has become an epicenter for the virus in Europe, with hundreds of thousands of cases and deaths. The small country is battling massive medical supply shortages, forcing many healthcare workers to get creative to save lives.

The Lombardy region is fighting an especially difficult battle, with thousands of patients clustered in the area. A local doctor noticed a shortage in supplies, and contacted a local engineering design firm to help him 3D print products.

Dr. Renato Favero had the ingenious idea to use scuba diving masks as C-PAP masks for patients. All that was missing was a small valve to connect the machine to the masks. With the help of Isinnova, the team was able to design a valve to fit the two.

My Modern Met reports that the functional product was then tried at the Chiari Hospital near Brescia and work seamlessly. Doctors and designers noted that although it was not officially medically certified or approved, it was a life-saving substitution.