In the midst of the ongoing pandemic, essential medical supplies have been running low, leaving hospital personnel concerned with the dangerous shortages. One instance of this hit close to home — Stony Brook University Hospital had a need for an essential part of its non-invasive ventilation circuits. This critical component of the CPAP/BiPAP circuit is a hollow plastic elbow that, on one end, connects to a mask, while the other end connects to a hose to deliver oxygen to patients in a non-invasive manner.
iCREATE stepped up to the plate to provide support by offering the use of its 3D-printing technologies to print these elbow components. “When David (director of iCREATE) approached me asking if I would be able to recreate this critical part, I was unsure if I would be able to,” said John Berwick, an instructional support associate with the Division of Information Technology who partnered with iCREATE to 3D print these parts. “After recently losing a family member and hearing the suffering they went through after eight months on and off intubation and ventilators, I was determined to produce an accurate, functional part, with the hope that I could help others and their families suffer less. I think in the end we produced a part that rivals the original in function.”
It was this dedication that led to the successful creation of workable elbows that were instrumental in allowing for the CPAP/BiPAP ventilation circuits to remain in use during such a critical time. Berwick took on the detailed work of designing the file, went through a number of different parts and processes, and through this successful collaboration, a workable design was found.
Such innovation and passion exemplified through this collaboration between iCREATE and the Stony Brook Medicine Respiratory Therapy Department is championed and encouraged at iCREATE — finding creative solutions to abstract problems.