In these difficult times, entrepreneurs, scientists and healthcare workers are working their hardest to find new innovations that can aid in the battle against the coronavirus.

Thankfully, we have some good news from a hospital in Tilburg. Trauma surgeons there have started to 3D-print valves for oxygen masks, reports RTL Nieuws.

What role do the valves fulfil?

Oxygen masks are used for the care of coronavirus patients at the St. Elizabeth Hospital in Tilburg. The valves are colour-coded and not reusable, and their purpose is for adjusting the intake of oxygen into the mask.

As they were starting to run out, a trauma surgeon from the hospital named Mike Bemelman looked online for blueprints for the valves. He luckily found them, and then sent the models to the hospital’s 3D printers.

Three 3D printers in the hospital

Normally, the 3D printers in the hospitals are used to print out joints and ones for the purpose of surgeries. Now, they’re being used for the valves.

According to Bemelman, they use around 60 to 80 disposable valves per day, but with the help of the printers, they’re now making more than 100 valves per day. With a fourth 3D printer on its way, production will ramp up even more.

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In a true spirit of solidarity, Bemelman is giving, on request, the blueprints for the valves to companies and other hospitals that need it, ensuring that more places with 3D printers have the possibility of making these much-needed valves.

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Feature Image: ETZ Tilburg

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