Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the essential supplies such as sanitisers, masks, etc. are in huge demand more than ever before . Especially, doctors and healthcare professionals who are working towards treating those affected by coronavirus are facing issues due to the shortage in masks, protective clothing and other related gears. So companies have started working on alternative solutions for the same.
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Consequently, students in the Netherlands at the Delft University of Technology, private companies and hospital staff have come together to develop easy and quick solutions that will convert underwater gears into protective masks during the global health crisis. As per Financieele Dagblad, Mariske Toomen, an anaesthetist at the Haaglanden Medical Centre involved in the project claimed that two countries have come up with this idea – one in Italy and another in the Netherlands.
Innovative idea to the rescue
Have you ever thought that snorkelling masks could be used as protective gear to stay safe from the COVID-19 outbreak? Well, snorkel masks are being fitted with a medical filter and a coupling piece that is 3D printed by Shell. This blocks access to a windpipe and results in a masks that will cover the face completely and protect against the virus. This makes it safer alternative to the usual masks and goggles, especially during intubation of patients, which is a procedure that releases virus particles.
They have put the design of their mask on an open-source website to make the production accessible to hospitals all over the globe. The website notes that they are sharing designs on an open-source basis as the same can be used by medical staff over the world quickly and easily.
A slew of companies are working towards making the mask safer for the current situation. Damen Shipyards is one of them. They have come up with a design that incorporates a small portable industrial ventilator in masks used by painters, welders, and asbestos removers into the design.
Combining a full-face snorkel mask (Decathlon Subsea Easybreath) with an HME bacteria and virus filter used in anaesthetic equipment and ventilators, the COVID Lifesaver Mask is an ingenious solution to the shortage of personal protection and face masks (FFP2) in many countries.
Sale of snorkel mask halted!
While its an innovative approach, the major concern for developers is the continued availability of snorkel masks worldwide. In the Netherlands, Decathlon has halted the sale of such masks to individuals last week after getting in touch with Financieele Dagblad.
Main image picture credits: COVID Lifesaver Mask
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