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Bayhealth utilizing 3D printing to fill gaps amid coronavirus pandemic

Delaware News Desk
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

Bayhealth Clinical Engineering Technician III Peter West has designed and 3D printed several different products, including face shields and parts for respiratory life-saving equipment, which have benefited hospital care teams in the fight against COVID-19.

One device West is currently in the process of perfecting is a valve that allows clinicians to adjust positive end-expiratory pressure to aid patients in respiratory distress from COVID-19. Another is a ventilator circuit splitter to allow two patients to safely be treated with one ventilator, in the unlikely event a patient surge causes a ventilator deficit.

When Respiratory Therapy Manager Rachael Ali-Permell was notified that filters for their manual resuscitator bags may become unavailable, she looked for an alternative and found a filter that was similar in function, but too large. West worked with her to come up with a solution. He designed and 3D printed a filter adapter which enabled the larger size filter to fit to the resuscitator bags, ensuring safe filtration. When possible, West follows 3D printing patterns, such as one from the National Institutes of Health website for producing face shields. Often, however, he must utilize his experience and expertise to customize the prototypes he prints after working with clinical staff to ensure they’re perfected to fit the specific needs of patients.

“3D printing is all about figuring out simple and inexpensive ways to problem-solve,” said West.