Library Volunteers Create World’s Largest Free Medical Repair Database

In response to COVID-19, Clemson’s librarians, Jessica Serrao and Scott Dutkiewicz, have been volunteering with iFixit to provide access to medical device repair manuals, particularly ventilators, respiratory analyzers, and anesthesia systems. Their efforts, along with 200 other librarians and archivists resulted in the world’s largest medical repair database available free online. This database can be found at https://www.ifixit.com/Device/Medical_Device.

The database, which went live May 19, was the result of the first phase of volunteer work in which Dutkiewicz and Serrao helped organize over 40,000 files by categories useful to the biomedical community, and renamed the files with human-readable titles. The second phase is now underway to add metadata and photos to all the published content. This will greatly improve the discovery of these essential repair manuals so biomedical technicians can keep hospital devices working properly.

“This was a very rewarding project that gave the library and archive community a way to support front-line biomedical technicians during COVID-19,” Serrao said of the experience. “It leveraged our knowledge of information organization in a meaningful way while providing a volunteer opportunity that aligns with social distancing and working from home.” Making these resources freely available dovetails with the library community’s commitment to open access.

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