Hearing centres ask for donations of snorkelling masks to help fight coronavirus

The adapted mask.
The adapted mask. / SUR
  • 3D printers are being used to produce adapters so that masks of a type sold by Decathlon can be used by the health services

An Andalusian group of hearing centres is appealing for donations of snorkelling masks in a drive to help the health services in the coronavirus crisis. 'Easybreath' masks sold by the firm Decathlon are being adapted for use to protect health workers, thanks to pieces made by a 3D printer.

Dr Francisco López Navas at the Virgen de las Nieves hospital in Granada developed the idea using a printer provided by the OírT hearing centre group originally to make ear pieces.

Now it is being used to produce adapters to convert these popular masks into face shields for health workers on the coronavirus frontline.

"We are asking people to donate the masks; we've purchased two more 3D printers and they are churning out the adapter pieces," said Alfonso Sánchez of Sontec hearing centres, which is part of the group.

Masks can be handed in at Sontec centre in Calle Hermanos Pinzón 4, Fuengirola, and the OírT centre in Alameda Principal, Malaga. Anyone wanting to arrange for collection of a mask should call 618385910.

Meanwhile an Italian institute has also been using the Decathlon masks for the cause, producing adapters to turn them into ventilators for patients.