Preston school pair design ventilator aid for coronavirus patients

A technology teacher and technician from a city high school  have made their own  valves for life saving ventilators.

Wednesday, 22nd April 2020, 1:52 pm
Staff at Archbishop Temple High School have been making PPE for hospital and care home staff

Archbishop Temple CE High design technology teacher Tim Duggan came up with the idea of using the school's 3D printers after getting hold of a prototype design made by Italian engineering students and doctors.

Now they are waiting for approval from hospital bosses before going into production, with the help of eager pupils.

Tim said: "It was very clear from the start of the crisis that the NHS and others would need vital supplies. I saw a BBC news article about how Italian engineering students and doctors had devised a way of converting a full-face swim mask into a life-saving ventilator.

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Pupils have been making masks at Archbishop temple High school

The students made the 3D printing file for the ‘Charlotte valve’ available for anyone to use and therefore help produce them for hospitals. Neil Gibirdi, our school design technology technician, and I immediately decided to use the school’s 3D printers to produce some of these valves.

We took them home so we would have longer to work on them."

He added: " We each produced some valves as per the Italian design and delivered some samples to the Deputy Procurement Director via Royal Preston Hospital for approval.

"We are waiting for the go ahead to produce some more. However, in the meantime, we are producing some PPE facemasks. Mr Gibirdi suggested local care homes and pharmacy staff could make use of these as well as the NHS, so we are dropping some off to local care homes in the area."

Masks made by pupils at Archbishop Temple High School

Other staff, including technology teachers Hazel Gornall and Nick Carter and pupils also wanted to get involved and have been helping produce visors. One year 10 pupil wanted to know more about he 3D printing files so he could make some himself on his own printer while another has been helping his mum's school in Blackpool produce hundreds of face mask.

Mr Duggan said supplies of material were running short.

Archbishop Temple has enough polypropylene to make another 800 headbands but they need A4 photocopier film/acetate/OHP transparency film for the visors .

The St Vincent's Road school has so far supplied care homes in Fulwood and Lostock Hall with visors and has been asked for supplies by another in Clayton Green.

The teacher said: "We aim to deliver some very soon to Royal Preston Hospital's Intensive Care Unit through a colleague's wife, who is a nurse on the ward. Doing whatever we can to help seems only right."