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Coronavirus: Italian Medics Convert Snorkelling Masks Into Ventilator Masks Amid Shortage

Medical workers in Italy have come up with an innovative idea to convert snorkel masks into makeshift ventilators amid increasing demand for the equipment.


Coronavirus outbreak has gripped Italy as more than 11,500 people have lost their lives so far due to the global pandemic. The country is facing a shortage of medical supplies like every other nation that is battling to prevent the spread of the disease. Medical workers in Italy have come up with an innovative idea to convert snorkel masks into makeshift ventilators to cope up with the increasing demand for the essential equipment amid coronavirus crisis. 

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According to reports, hospitals that are facing an overload of COVID-19 patients are adopting the idea of converting full-face snorkel masks from sports stores such as Decathalon into a ventilator by using 3D printed valves. Media reports suggest that many health care facilities in the country and around the globe are now adopting the same idea plus are adding their own specific medical parts to it to make it more useful. As per reports, Erasme Hospital in Belgium is one such example that is using upgraded snorkel masks with 3D-printed respiratory valves fittings to treat patients. 

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Ventilators are one of the key medical equipment that countries are gearing up to procure as it becomes necessary further into the treatment of a COVID-19 patient. Ventilators are used for patients with severe respiratory problems to provide them with mechanical ventilation by moving breathable air into and out of the lungs when they are physically unable to breathe or are breathing insufficiently. 

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Coronavirus outbreak

COVID-19 has claimed more than 37,800 lives across the world and has infected more than 7,87,000 people globally since it first broke out in December 2019. China was the most affected country until last week before Italy and Spain surpassed it to record the most number of deaths anywhere in the world due to COVID-19. The United States and France are on the verge of overtaking China in terms of the number of deaths recorded in these countries. The virus is believed to have originated from a seafood market in China's Wuhan city, the epicentre of the disease, where animals were reportedly being traded illegally.

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