RJ Nelson is Helping to Save Lives

Written on 06/12/2020

3D Printed Ventilator Parts for COVID-19 Patients

RJ's home workshop includes all the tools that an engineer would need - including a 3D printer. It was that tool that allowed him to produce ventilator parts that will help treat COVID-19 patients. RJ and his mother Danielle discovered Keep Breathing NYC, part of the group Keep Breathing which was created in response to the Las Vegas mass shooting when Emergency Department doctors were overwhelmed with a massive number of patients requiring ventilators. Their mission is to "help local communities craft simple, fast, and inexpensive-to-install adapters to ventilators which require little or no supply chain and can be rapidly introduced to hospitals."   

"As a part of the fabrication community, I saw an opportunity to put my prop making skills to use helping create ventilator splitters for hospitals," - RJ  Nelson

RJ's 3D-printed ventilator splitters

"We joined Keep Breathing NYC and were sent the file containing the vent splitters specifics," explained Mrs. Nelson. Once printed, the parts will allow two patients to use one ventilator. RJ immediately got to work producing the splitters, so much so that he began to run out of materials. The current strain on the supply chain meant a delay in the delivery of the materials. "RJ immediately contacted Amazon and explained the importance of his order," said Mrs. Nelson. Amazon agreed and expedited the shipping of RJ's order and his production resumed.

RJ also produced a face mask extender for his mother, who is a pharmacist and is required to wear a mask at work. The device allows the bands of the mask to fit around the back of the head instead of over the ears. "It's a game-changer!" explained Mrs. Nelson, adding "myself and RJ's father (Robert) are beyond proud."

In addition to his fabrication skills, RJ is also an Eagle Scout candidate.

RJ's 3D-printed mask extender