Dec 16, 2015 | By Benedict

Every year, around 1.8 million newborn babies die from condition known as birth asphyxia that deprives the child of oxygen and prevents it from breathing. The tragedy of this high figure is compounded by the fact that many of those deaths could easily be prevented, given the right skills and equipment. One team of experts is working hard to provide both of those crucial aspects, using 3D printing technology to optimize the process.

The Augmented Infant Resuscitator (AIR) is a 3D printed device designed to improve the effectiveness of newborn resuscitation. The device is an add-on piece for existing bag valve masks (BVMs) and several types of ventilation equipment. The 3D printed tool monitors ventilation quality, whilst providing real-time, objective feedback and actionable cues to users. This feedback is essential for building up the skill level and confidence of trainees.



The Augmented Infant Resuscitator is the brainchild of Dr. Data Santorino, a national trainer for Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) in Uganda, who has trained more than 1,000 healthcare providers. Santorino is a lecturer of Pediatrics at Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) and has invented numerous medical devices.

The 3D printing expertise channeled into the life-saving device has been administered by former Formlabs engineer Kevin Cedrone. Cedrone, who holds a PhD in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is now the mechanical lead on the AIR project, which has utilized a Formlabs Form1+ SLA 3D printer to produce prototypes of the medical device. Cedrone met Santorino at an MIT hackathon in 2012, where the team created a rudimental yet functional prototype of the AIR as a proof of concept.

“3D printing was a core part of our design and prototyping,” explained Cedrone. “I was able to combine about 6 components into one single print. Our current design isn’t realizable with machining or injection modeling without extension modification.”

The 3D printed device uses special sensors to detect signs of asphyxiation. The digital readout from the Arduino-powered device gives users real-time feedback and cues for correctly carrying out the life-saving resuscitation process via a connected computer. The function is therefore twofold: as well as saving the life of the patient in question, medical staff can learn from the cues to gain experience in how to handle situations in the future, including those situations in which they may not have access to an AIR.


The 3D printed AIR has caught the attention of the medical community, with Mass General Hospital recently announcing a partnership with Santorino, Cedrone and company. The device also won an award at the Global Pediatric Innovation Summit. The company will now run trials with other hospitals to collect data about the long-term effectiveness of the device. If the team can prove that the AIR reduces infant mortality rates and improves staff performance, they may have an incredibly important invention on their hands.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



Maybe you also like:


Peter Mukasa wrote at 12/18/2015 6:12:11 PM:

Bravo, this is a major land mark for new born health in rural resource limited settings but also of interest to resource rich settings such as the US

Jannat wrote at 12/18/2015 11:36:13 AM:

This is the best gift ever for this vulnerable group that in most cases died instantly. This will save a million lives especially in Africa and more so in Uganda where resources are limited. God bless the work of their hands

Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to Feeds twitter facebook   

About provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive