The vast majority of additive manufacturing firms and a great number of healthcare organizations from around the globe are cramming to offer their help and support to the government and authorities in addressing the surmounting shortage of respiration aids for COVID-19 intensive care patients.
There are cases that 3-dimensional printing of devices critically needed by COVID-19 patients are seen as the most viable option to take, particularly by patients who are weighed down by their inability to breathe autonomously. But the pressing concern here is, there is a limited amount of available information that will help show any disparity between different kinds of machinery used with respect to how severe the situation of a particular patient is.
In aid of addressing this scarcity of information, we sought out the opinion of intensive care specialists to give us a glimpse of an overview of various assisted respiration options that can be found in the intensive care unit, particularly those that are aimed to help patients that are suffering from different kinds of respiratory failure.
We need to understand that basic desktop 3-dimensional printers and PLA are low-performance materials. Thus, we can’t expect them to be durable enough. This may necessitate us to healthcare professionals to help us validate their efficiency.
Due to the sensitiveness of invasive ventilation – patients who find autonomous breathing physically challenging are sedated. Oxygen would be directly pumped into their lungs by virtue of an intra-oral tracheal tube. This tells us why the majority of 3D printing Brisbane activities should center its energies on non-invasive methods, which are further cut into either high-flow or low-flow devices for assisted and non-assisted respiration.
Nasal cannulas (NC)
If a patient is in dire need of increased airflow, this device nasal cannula (NC) can be taken advantage of to help in delivering supplemental oxygen to him. This device is a lightweight tube, where one of the endings would split into two prongs.
Otherwise known as an air-entrainment mask, it delivers concentrated oxygen to patients in need of controlled oxygen therapy. Venturi masks are a qualified device for high-flow oxygen therapy. This has something to do with the fact that venturi masks provide inspiratory flow at FiO2, which is the ideal oxygen concentration, to therapy for a patient.
Intensive Care Ventilators
While mechanical ventilators are perceived as positive and negative pressure ventilators, negative pressure ventilators are scarcely used nowadays. The original batch of positive pressure ventilators came into use during the 1940s, yet they only began to become widely used after the rate of mortality in mechanically ventilated patients was reduced during the 1950s polio epidemics.
While the 3D printing Brisbane industry may be able to extend its help only in the production of intensive care ventilators by virtue of its entry into the traditional supply chain, several low-cost and open-source projects have come to surface and they aim to create intensive care mechanical ventilators. This can be made possible by working an Ambu bag to function like that of a mechanically activated device.