Below are potentially useful tools for dealing with COVID-19 in a hospital setting.
DISCLAIMER: At the time of writing the solutions shown have not yet undergone clinical trials, but are mentioned here as potentially useful tools.
1. Aerosol box
This prototype design for an aerosol box shield originated from the heightened risk of contamination during aerosol generating procedures.
The aim is to decrease hazard to those performing these procedures (the anaesthetist, nurses, surgeons and other healthcare workers) when intubating and extubating patients who are
- COVID-19 positive
- Contacts of these patients and
- Possibly all patients who require these procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic
Originally designed in Taiwan, a group of Irish designers and medical professionals expanded on the design.
Its purpose is to sit over the patient’s head during the procedure, with an opening at the cranial end for the clinician’s hands and an opening at the caudal end to give access to the various medical devices being used with the patient.
One version has hand-holes for the clinicians hands to go through at the cranial end. This will give a strong physical barrier between the patient and the clinician. Another version has a wider slotted opening which can be covered by a transparent surgical sheet which may give greater freedom of movement during a procedure.
OPEN SOURCE DESIGN
The intention for this project is to protect healthcare workers in a time of crisis. We are opening the design to the world so that other designers can take and expand on this design for the benefit of society.
DISCLAIMER: We can give no guarantees as to its efficacy and it must be tested in your local region and approved by those with the responsibility of care before being used in the treatment of a patient.
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2. Vanessa capsule
The ‘Vanessa’ capsule was developed in Brazil to allow non-invasive ventilation (intubation) of patients and, consequently, to reduce the risk of contamination by healthcare professionals. The model works as a wrap for non-invasive ventilation and is produced in a light and resistant frame formed by PVC pipes, which can be easily handled and sanitized.
It is coated with a transparent vinyl film, for a better visualization of the patient and to assist in contagion containment. In addition, it is equipped with an exhaust fan and a BiPAP-type air compressor – short for BI-level Positive Airway Pressure (positive pressure in the airways at two levels) – and with an HMED filter, for controlling the temperature and oxygen humidity and antibacterial and antiviral action.
The filter produces a negative pressure inside the capsule, preventing the release of aerosols and contamination of the air. Access to the patient is made through windows with zippered openings, allowing to monitor, feed and medicate without the need for direct patient contact with health professionals.
The ‘Vanessa’ capsule, developed by doctors and physiotherapists from the Samel group, together with professionals from the Transire Institute. The technology was named in honour of the first patient hospitalized with the new coronavirus in the Samel network, who needed to receive orotracheal intubation, an invasive procedure that can now be avoided with the capsule.