A Greek innovation that utilized the 3D printing technology, was moved by the shortages in the country’s hospitals amid coronavirus outbreak and took advantage of the Stay at Home and the movement restrictions. A joint initiative between the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Pulmonary Clinic of the University of Thessaly managed to produce face-shields and other essential devices like respirators that can be used in the country’s hospitals.
Researchers and doctors of the two departments worked together to voluntarily support the Greek hospitals that suffer from shortages especially in the field of personnel and patients protection as well as patients’ care.
Leaders of this initiative are academics well-known for their research on environmental pollution in Volos, Central Greece. The team consists of Director of the University of Thessaly Pulmonary Clinic Professor Konstantinos Gourgoulianis and Assistant Professor Giorgos Saharidis along with TED3D team researchers Eleni Rigakis and Elias Fritzala.
After conducting field work in the hospitals of the region, studying and recording the basic needs that currently exist for the protection of doctors and other health workers as well as of patients, they studied examples of other research groups abroad as well as the international literature on 3D production of essentials that help fight the transmission of Covid-19.
They immediately began designing and mass producing face-shields for all key health personnel and support staff that comes in contact with the patients. Next to the face-shields they also produced valves for respiratory rehabilitation and breathing support devices, respirators, respirator filters and hands-free handles for hospitals in an effort to limit the virus transmission through physical contact.
According to the team, the first quantities of the above mentioned devices will soon be delivered to the hospitals of Volos and Larissa, on long terms also to other hospitals across Greece.
Note that the services are provided by the volunteers’ team, who also carry the cost of designing, purchasing raw materials and producing the devices.