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TWI Supports Nepal in Fight Against COVID-19

Wed, 18 August, 2021

Staff from TWI Wales offered their support to a team from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) to develop a Venturi-based CPAP design respiratory support system for use in the fight against COVID -19.

The work, which began in May 2020, was based upon previous efforts to deliver support to the NHS during the initial pandemic outbreak at the request of the Welsh Government. TWI assisted by performing X-ray computed tomography work to confirm quality of the prototype units.

Coverage of these past efforts reached Arjan Knulst over 4,500 miles away in Nepal. Arjan, a Lead Bio-Medical Engineer in INF Green Pastures Hospital in Pokhara, Nepal, contacted the UWTSD team in Swansea to ask if they could share their 3D files so the respiratory support system could be 3D printed and produced for the hospital in Nepal.

A Licence Agreement was arranged to quickly allow the University to share the designs and testing of two devices has just been completed. The first design is an oxygen mask converted into a Venturi mask while the second is a non-invasive ventilation (NIV) and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask based on the Venturi design.

The masks will provide emergency NIV for COVID patients and are now set to be shared with other hospitals in Nepal, where the situation with COVID-19 is still critical. The mask design allows for the delivery of a controlled, pressurised range of air/ oxygen mixtures with no electricity needed for the cost of just £5 of materials. The devices can be printed using desktop printers, meaning that they can be more readily produced.

TWI Wales’ Non-Destructive Evaluation Business Group Manager, Philip Wallace said, “It’s great that the team at TWI were able to provide technical support to a fantastic development from UWTSD, which will hopefully help to save many lives now and in the future.”

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