In a recent news reported by TECHTIMES, Chiara Hospital located in Italy, a 3D printer was able to save the lives of ten different Italian coronavirus (covid-19) patients by being able to produce the unique replacement valve for broken ventilators just after the hospital's supply ran out!
Because of this act of bravery, a medical device manufacturer has saw this and has even threatened to sue the very group of people who volunteered to print the 3D printed valve used to save lives of covid-19 patients in Italy!
The valve being sold by medical device manufacturers versus the volunteer's replicas
The valve which was officially manufactured by the medical device manufacturer costs about $11,000 while the replica which the volunteers made costs only about $1. This just goes to show how expensive the valves are and how the innovators were able to immediately produce a replica to save the lives of those in need but have also forgotten about possible patents and copyrights.
The innovation was created with good intentions
The only reason the innovation came to life was because of the urgent need for valves when the hospital was treating patients and because of the supply running out, a certain Christian Fracassi as well as Alessandro Ramaioli have decided to offer their 3D printer to manufacture the replicas to save lives.
According to Business Insider Italia, the manufacturer was actually approached by the duo in hopes to ask for the valve's blueprints in an urgent attempt to save them time and produce the valves to instantly save the critical covid-19 victims but they were declined and even threatened to be sued for patent infringement!
The brave move saved 10 lives
The duo then proceeded to manufacture the replicas by manually measuring the valves and 3D printing three different versions to see which one worked best.
According to Massimo Temporelli who was the one who recruited the duo and is the founder of an Italian manufacturing solutions company named FabLab, this brave move by the duo has saved 10 lives on March 14 which has also opened the way to future possibilities.
Fracassi released a Facebook post explaining the intent behind the replicas
Fracassi said that "[The patients] were people in danger of life, and we acted. Period" to justify their actions and later on made it clear that "we have no intention of profit on this situation, we are not going to use the designs or product beyond the strict need for us forced to act, we are not going to spread the drawing."
Italy is fighting hard against the coronavirus
Italy already has 31,500 confirmed infected civilians as the death toll reaches 2,500 and is still currently growing. The creation of the replica valve has been a huge step for them as they were able to prevent 10 critical patients from dying and the possibility of maybe more dying from the lack of valves as well.