#scuba Decathlon turns scuba gear into ventilators to help fight coronavirus – The Jerusalem Post

March 26, 2020 - Comment

Sporting goods giant Decathlon is contributing to the fight against coronavirus by sending makeshift ventilators to hospitals in northern Italy. While Decathlon, the French sporting goods retailer which is the largest such retailer in the world, typically doesn’t sell ventilators, it does sell scuba gear, which they hacked and enhanced with specific components made by


Sporting goods giant Decathlon is contributing to the fight against coronavirus by sending makeshift ventilators to hospitals in northern Italy. While Decathlon, the French sporting goods retailer which is the largest such retailer in the world, typically doesn’t sell ventilators, it does sell scuba gear, which they hacked and enhanced with specific components made by 3D printers to work as ventilators.The conversion of their line of Easybreath scuba masks was done alongside the Rome-based Institute of Studies for the Integration of Systems (ISINNOVA), and was prompted by a request from the head physician of a hospital in Gardone Val Trompina in the Italian region of Lombardy, which is one of the regions hit worst by the coronavirus, to address the ventilator shortage, Cycling Weekly reported.ISINNOVA uploaded the means of converting a scuba mask into a functioning ventilator online, creating a video detailing the process. This is to ensure other hospitals can use Decathlon scuba gear to make ventilators themselves. The specific 3D-printed valve – which they called the “Charlotte Valve” – used is patented, but the entire initiative is nonprofit, with the 3D-printed [embedded content] However, ISINNOVA has stated that this new invention, while functional, is still something that should only be used in emergencies.“We are reiterating that the idea is designed for healthcare facilities and wants to help in realization of an emergency mask in the case of a full-blown difficult situation, where is not possible to in find official healthcare supplies,” ISINNOVA said in a statement, according to the Mirror. “Neither the mask nor the link are certified and their use is subject to a situation of mandatory need.“Usage by the patient is subjected to the acceptance of use of an uncertified biomedical device, by providing a signed declaration.“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.”However, on Wednesday, Decathlon stated on Twitter that, while the company has been approached by many hospitals, research centers and universities, and have shared their technical information, they haven’t received confirmation from the institutions so far that such solutions really work and are used by doctors. According to Cycling Weekly, Italian cycling clothes company Santini SMS is also working to help fight the virus, shifting their production of jerseys into making medical masks. Deborah Dahan contributed to this report.

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