Engineers at an Italian company has taken the bold step of teaming up with medical and Decathlon experts to figure out a way of converting full-face snorkeling masks so they can be hooked up to life-saving medical breathing machines.
Engineers Alessandro Romaiol and Christian Fracassi are the ISINNOVA engineers who were approached the former head physician of Gardone Valtrompia Hospital, Dr. Renato Favero, with a bold idea to help counter the current global shortage of C-PAP masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The masks are usually used by hospitals for sub-intensive therapy. However, the demand for these masks went through the roof after COVID-19 hit Italy.
Since then, these masks have been scarce, which is why Dr. Favero made the suggestion of modifying snorkel masks, which are more readily available, that can connect to a ventilating machine.
ISINNOVA reports that the prototype had undergone testing using a volunteer at Chiari Hospital, and the test proved to be a success. The hospital then tested the mask, and the modified snorkel mask passed with flying colors!
The company also posted the blueprints for converting the masks for free on their website so that other hospitals can make their own.