It is not simple to imagine what was Italy looks like in March 2020 now that the worst seems to be behind us.
As the first western country hit by coronavirus, SARSCoV-2, there was not enough knowledge or models to follow. The northern region hospitals were stormed by patients with COVID-19 fighting to breathe and doctors could not do anything else that rely on already existing treatment and equipment used to fight respiratory distress. Intensive care units and mechanical ventilators requiring intubation became the most widely care applied.
Dr. Ghidini, as he became aware of the situation, went to his friend Dr. Nicola Petrucci, Chief of Intensive Care Unit at Hospital of Desenzano del Garda to donate N95 masks. The hospital had quickly depleted its supply of personal protective equipment for doctors and nurses.
As soon as Dr. Ghidini saw what really was going on, he asked what else he could do to help. Dr. Petrucci had no doubt about what could really help at that time: they did not have enough ventilators or ICU beds for patients who were suffering from respiratory distress caused by COVID-19. More specifically, he was trying to find high flux ventilators to prevent the high rate of intubations.
This is why Dr. Ghdini called together the IBD team and told them what he wished to realize: a non-invasive equipment specifically designed to fight SARSCoV-2 deadly consequence. The timeline was challenging because Dr. Ghdini wanted a prototype to be running in 5 weeks, otherwise it would be too late.
Eng. Visotti, who previously worked in a company that produces surgical aspirators, immediately activated its network and started working on the project.
A GoFundMe campaign was launched to help collect the 20.000 Euro needed for the development and the response was impressive. The campaign achieved the target and the working prototype of BioRespira Pulmonary Ventilator was realized in just 5 weeks.
Once the device was ready, Dr. Ghdini knew he would needed help for the next phases: mass production and distribution around the world. And a long-time IBD partner, SECO S.p.A., was the one who could make the difference. SECO’s resources, including high-quality production, marketing, sales, and support infrastructure, could have brought the intended benefits of BioRespira to COVID-19 patients around the globe.
Massimo Mauri, CEO of SECO, explained, “Partnering with IBD to bring BioRespira beyond early development and into production and worldwide distribution was an easy decision for SECO. The combination of SECO expertise with IBD innovation yields a powerful and vital solution to a worldwide crisis.”
Dr. Ghidini, and the whole IBD team, have succeeded in their intent to do as much as they can to help COVID-19 patients. When the production will start, 30 BioRespira Pulmonary Ventilators will be donated: the first units will go to Hospital of Desenzano del Garda and additional units will be donated to hospitals and care facilities around the world.