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Turn a snorkeling mask into a respiratory mask for assisted ventilation [video] (youtube.com)
122 points by ggurgone 11 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 27 comments

Can a snorkeling mask also be used as a PAPR?

Here's a DIY project by Shen Ye:


Are people really assuming that professional, medical ventilator equipment does nothing more than uncontrollably push air into your lungs? Spreading potentially dangerous medical "hacks" should be illegal, "well-meaning" hackers may cause people to harm or even kill themselves by accident. Please let these strategies take the proper route via medical professionals.

According to the story the designs & 3D printing guys were contacted by a doctor with the idea about how to re-purpose the mask

Can the proper route achieve exponential growth in the number of ventilators?

If not, then at a certain point, it will make sense to use ventilators which have a 3% chance of killing the patient. Its not as if these are being sold to people under the guise of being well-certified medical devices.

In the video they warn about what you said and recommend to develop and use such a device only with the supervision of experienced doctors.

Full article in English with the video embedded and where they say they have supposedly patented it even though it's a branded snorkeling mask from Decathlon: https://www.isinnova.it/easy-covid19-eng/

True but the patent is in good faith:

> We clarify that the patent will remain free to use, because it is in our intention that all hospitals in need could use it if necessary.

> We clarify that our initiative is totally non-profit, we will not obtain any royalties on the idea of the link, nor on the sales of Decathlon masks.

They can't just say "hey, we're publishing this, and this is now prior art" so no one can patent it in the future?

(Is this a difference between the US and EU patent systems?)

"We're publishing this and now it is prior art" is more costly to defend in the US courts compared to having a patent.

Not anymore. US used to be first to invent but switched to first to file a some years ago.

That doesn’t make a difference in this case. It just affects which filer gets priority if more than one party files claiming the same invention.

The winning filer’s claim still has to meet the other requirements for a patent, including novelty and non-obviuousness.

they have patented the valve that attaches the mask to the oxygen supply. this prevents someone else patenting it. you still need to buy the masks but these will already be in stock at decathlon stores.

Publishing already prevents that in most areas, but I guess that could lessen the chance you would have to challenge it.

Has anyone looked into using CPAP machines for ventilation for covid-19 cases? They are lower pressure and only one pressure, but seems like would still be quite useful if one didn't have a full ventilator?

I don't know how many CPAP machines there are in the US but I know three people who each have one.

The trouble as I understand is that CPAP aerosolizes the virus and spreads it everywhere.

There is no problem with cpap. Filters are available for the machines and tubes that lead to and away from the facemask.

CPAP is a good start for any patient that has a spontaneous inspirtory drive and acceptable work of breathing.

The problem for the COVID patients is more so oxygenation then ventilation (this is a technical complication of the disease were studies have shown that focusing on O2 with an elevated CO2 is better in the long run then trying to ventilate the lung to normal CO2 levels as the volume of air needed to do this effectively can do more damage to the lung).

CPAP helps O2 absorbtion in the lungs by maintaining a generally elevated pressure that pushes O2 into the alveolar sacs for perfusion without requiring a concentration of O2 that might create a fibrotic lung.

If the patient passes a certain threshold of respiratory distress and work of breathing they will need to be intubated to carry on the same O2/Co2 strategy above to protect the lung from further damage.

After intubation is when a real ventilator will be needed. Ventilators can be very simple so long as people are aware the patient will be out like fashion so the ventilator can do its thing and medical staff monitor the patients vital systems. This is not always ideal as voluntary spontaneous movement of the patient can help relieve some of the neuro and physiological lung issues they are experiencing.

Ideally everything done for the patient as soon as they hit the ward is to keep them off a ventilator for their own and others best outcomes.

Still useful if you can put people in a balcony for instance, old school sanatorium style. And what is usually called "CPAP" is actually not constant airpressure anymore but adapts continuously with software.

That would technically be an “Auto-PAP”. I have a CPAP and my doctor has specifically said that I should stick with this technology for as long as I can, because it will be better and more effective for me in the long run. He said that an Auto-PAP or a Bi-PAP would be the next step, if we get to needing pressure levels that a CPAP can’t deliver.

I have no knowledge, but did come across an amateur looking into the question: https://blog.plan99.net/cpap-for-covid-d47886bf978c

I second this great question...lots of elderly have CPAPs

You might be better off looking up airway clearance techniques. Some populations use these daily to continue not dying from chronic, serious lung issues.

What's interesting about the 'mask' concept is that it changes the nature of intubation and invasive tubes.

Can a medical practitioner comment on the nature of the opportunity here?

Would a 'mask' be more practical for unconscious patients?

This essentially provides CPAP therapy. CPAP can be helpful but it is not a direct replacement for ventilation/intubation.

Initial info from the intensivists (ICU docs) from Kirkland Washington suggest that time should not be wasted with CPAP or BiPAP. These measures only postpone the inevitable in patients with COVID-19.

Also a good percent of medical personnel were becoming infected from the Italian data with SARS-CoV2 (10-15%). Measures like BiPAP or CPAP do can exposure others in the room, especially with the rapid progression of this disease and the likely need to intubate the patients and ventilate them.

That being said this is a great accomplishment and the variety of sizes these masks come in would be helpful especially in the pediatric population. I now have to fire up my 3D printer.

What filter would be needed to make this into an N95 replacement instead? Seems like the full face mask would make this even more effective as it also protects the eyes.


The authorities had months to ramp up ventilator production.

> shame on you

For what? What social norm would you advocate under which people should feel shame for working on this?

"Do not, in a crisis, try to apply an incomplete understanding to solve problems. Instead, wait for them to be solved at a much slower rate and leave more people to die."

..now we just need sodastream refills with o2 and adapter?

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