The alliance (which our Spanish language sister website reported on just a few days ago) between the Consorci de la Zona Franca (CZFB), HP, Leitat (Technological Center) together with CatSalut, through the Consorci Sanitari de Terrassa (CST) and the Hospital Parc Taulí de Sabadell, have developed the first industrialized field 3D printed emergency respiration device* to support hospitals and ICUs. The device is a mechanical bag valve mask (BVM) that can be used for short term emergency ventilation of COVID-19 patients.
In response to the rapid expansion of the COVID-19 virus that has generated a shortage of medical equipment, especially respirators that are essential to save patients’ lives in this emergency, Leitat has designed a field respirator made in 3D that allows this health system to be made available essential element.
Thanks to 3D technology and existing capabilities in the alliance, both in design and in prototyping, the functionality of this first model of the largely 3D printed emergency respiration device has been developed and tested. This device also has the virtue of being industrially scalable, so that the production capacity of between 50 and 100 units per day can be reached by next week.
The device is a field respirator, called Leitat 1, in which design and components have been simplified as much as possible in order to develop a robust, useful and less complex medical device, facilitating both production and assembly.
The design was created by Leitat senior engineer Mr. Magí Galindo, and medically validated by Dr. Lluís Blanch, Director of Innovation at the Hospital Parc Taulí in Sabadell, an expert in mechanical ventilation. Production begins immediately, adjusting the requirements that may be pending – according to the State Pharmacological Agency – for an improved model (Leitat2) which is already in development
For production, Airbus and Navantia have also joined the alliance, which will rely on the production capacity of both users and maker communities, with the aim of increasing production within just a few days.
Several projects are underway to design, produce, deliver and share simplified but effective ventilators to face the COVID-19 emergency. Please add/discuss anything useful related to this in the dedicated forum.
While this device was initially described as a ventilator unit, it has been pointed out that this an emergency unit, that paramedics would use. It is a mechanical BVM/bagger, not a proper ventilator. While by integrating a motor it is possible to help patients with difficulties in breathing, the most serious patients will require long term (2 weeks+) ventilation with controlled settings based on their changing conditions, humification, oxygen, filtration, passive and active pressure adjustment on the fly. This means that a lot more is involved in producing a standard emergency oxygen ventilator for intensive care.