Critically ill COVID-19 patients need intensive care treatment but close contact with carers risks spreading the disease further. Researchers at The University of Melbourne have a solution.
With supplies of personal protective equipment like masks, gloves and gowns in short supply, and concerns the virus may remain airborne and active for some time, frontline medical workers must take extra precautions.
Complete isolation is not an option, however. Apart from basic humanitarian considerations, doctors and nurses need interaction to provide crucial elements of patient care.
To answer this conundrum, The University of Melbourne team came up with a device that stops particles entering shared airspace to begin with.
Their clear plastic upper body hood acts as a barrier to larger droplets leaving a patient’s lungs, while smaller ones are sucked away and filtered through an integrated ventilation system.
Carers and patients can maintain visual contact, and the hood is large enough to accommodate medical equipment.
All the components are readily available at low cost, enabling production at high volumes even for low to middle-income countries.
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