An awful lot of business organizations and more than a handful of additive manufacturing firms today are racing against time. They need to help and give assistance to the government and healthcare institutions around the globe in addressing the looming shortage of life-saving respiration tools due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 patients are challenged in their autonomous breathing and thus would be needing some kind of mechanical help to alleviate them in their condition. Increasing the production of respiration tools are intended for their use and care.
Respiratory failure and insufficiency of oxygen in a human body system happens when the circulating blood is not carrying enough oxygen for distribution to the different organs or when there is too much carbon dioxide in the body.
When you respire, your body is bringing in oxygen to your lungs and transmits them to your blood, then it is for distribution to your body organs. Carbon dioxide is expelled from the body when you are exhaling.
The organs inside the human body need this oxygen-rich blood to carry out their functions well, but if there is a high concentration of carbon dioxide in your blood it can be detrimental to your organs as well. There are a handful of conditions that can have an impact on breathing and eventually lead to respiratory arrest or failure.
The COVID-19 virus is among those conditions that can lead to respiratory arrest because they directly target the lungs of an infected individual. Hence, they have difficulty in breathing, and those who happen to have prior respiratory issues, weak immunity, and frail body systems such as old ones are at greater risk of being infected. Thus, everyone is encouraged to take extreme caution not to get the virus.
COVID-19 patients suffering from declining respiratory performance can be administered with one of the 2 types of treatment approaches, which is highly dependent on the gravity of the condition of the patient. These treatment approaches are classified as either invasive and non-invasive methods.
Due to the delicate nature of invasive ventilation, which is recommended to be administered to COVID-19 patients who are challenged in breathing on their own, the majority of 3D printing australia activities need to center on the printing of equipment for use in non-invasive methods.
The patients are sedated first so that oxygen can be pumped right to their lungs with the help of an intra-oral tracheal tube. These pieces of equipment are also classified further into low-flow and high-flow devices to be used in either assisted or unassisted respiration.
3D Printing Australian Industry: How Can It Help in the Pandemic?
3D printing, otherwise known as additive manufacturing, can provide invaluable help when it comes to the production of intensive care ventilators.
It can penetrate first into the traditional supply chain, offering the industry an alternative option for handling the production of highly unavailable parts whose production and supply are usually under the control of traditional manufacturing firms of medical supplies.
(During this time of pandemic, we should put aside if not to completely eradicate market control and monopoly for medical supplies and equipment. Until such time that the distressing situation we are in is ebbing the tide, then things can slowly normalize, too.)
3D printing in the country can offer invaluable help via rapid production and development of various medical supplies and equipment, particularly in areas that involve the production of respiratory-assistive tools. This has something to do with the manufacturing of custom splitters that will allow multiple patients to get connected and use just a single ventilation machine.