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Individual Biocontainment Unit – Because Plexiglass Alone Doesn’t Protect Against Aerosolized SARS-CoV-2
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Individual Biocontainment Unit – Because Plexiglass Alone Doesn’t Protect Against Aerosolized SARS-CoV-2

Simulated virus-laden aerosol pours out the opening of the field, inserting well being care employees in danger. Credit score: UPMC

Particularly in settings the place private protecting gear, or PPE, is in brief provide, intubation — inserting a respiratory tube down a affected person’s throat — poses a serious threat of SARS-CoV-2 publicity for docs and nurses as viral particles are launched into the air.

Researchers from UPMC and the U.S. Military Fight Capabilities Growth Command’s Military Analysis Laboratory (CCDC-ARL) created a person biocontainment unit, or IBU, to maintain entrance line well being care employees secure whereas they supply life-saving care. The machine is described in a examine revealed at this time within the Annals of Emergency Medication.

Earlier makes an attempt to reduce publicity to well being care employees concerned inserting a plexiglass intubation field over a affected person’s head and shoulders. Clinicians slip their arms by two massive holes within the field to intubate the affected person inside. Whereas such a tool might include the worst of the splatter, it could possibly’t maintain aerosols from leaking out.

The IBU is designed to suck contaminated air out of the field with a vacuum and lure infectious particles in a filter earlier than they seep into the room.

A vacuum and filtration system pulls aerosols away from the supplier and traps contaminants. Credit score: UPMC

Simulating a COVID-19 affected person, the researchers positioned a model contained in the IBU in addition to in a commercially obtainable intubation field. Close to its mouth, they piped in an oil-based aerosol which fashioned tiny droplets within the air, related in dimension to the SARS-CoV-2 particles in breath that unfold COVID-19.

The IBU trapped greater than 99.99% of the simulated virus-sized aerosols and prevented them from escaping into the surroundings. In distinction, outdoors of the passive intubation field, most aerosol concentrations have been noticed to be greater than 3 times greater than contained in the field.

“Having a type of safety that doesn’t work is extra harmful than not having something, as a result of it might create a false sense of safety,” mentioned examine co-lead creator David Turer, M.D., M.S., a plastic surgeon who not too long ago accomplished his residency at UPMC.

Because of issues in regards to the potential of airborne viruses to leak from the plexiglass packing containers, the Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) not too long ago revoked their Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for these enclosures.

A number of months in the past, Turer and colleagues submitted an EUA utility for the IBU and are getting ready to fabricate the units for distribution.

“It deliberately incorporates elements from outdoors the medical world,” mentioned Turer, who now could be on the College of Texas Southwestern Medical Middle. “So, in contrast to different types of PPE, demand is unlikely to outstrip provide throughout COVID-19 surge durations.”

Apart from defending suppliers throughout intubation, the IBU can also present unfavorable strain isolation of awake COVID-19 sufferers, supplying an alternative choice to scarce unfavorable strain hospital isolation rooms, in addition to serving to isolate sufferers on army vessels.

“The power to isolate COVID-19 sufferers on the bedside is vital to stopping viral unfold in medical amenities and onboard army ships and plane,” mentioned examine co-lead creator Cameron Good, Ph.D., a analysis scientist on the CCDC-ARL.

Gadgets much like IBUs have been first utilized in observe by army personnel within the Javits Middle subject hospital in New York Metropolis when native hospitals have been overrun with COVID-19 sufferers throughout the first wave of the pandemic.

As soon as the EUA is granted, hospitals and army items will be capable of use the IBU to guard well being care employees caring for COVID-19 sufferers.

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Reference: “Improved Testing and Design of Intubation Bins In the course of the COVID-19 Pandemic” by David M. Turer, MD, MS; Cameron H. Good, PhD; Benjamin Okay. Schilling, MS; Robert W. Turer, MD, MSE; Nicholas R. Karlowsky, BS; Lucas A. Dvoracek, MD; Heng Ban, PhD; Jason S. Chang, MD and J. Peter Rubin, MD, 3 September 2020, Annals of Emergency Medication.
DOI: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2020.08.033

Extra authors on the examine embrace Benjamin Schilling, M.S., and Heng Ban, Ph.D., of the College of Pittsburgh; Robert Turer, M.D., M.S.E., of Vanderbilt College Medical Middle; Nicholas Karlowsky, of Filtech; and Lucas Dvoracek, M.D., Jason Chang, M.D., and J. Peter Rubin, M.D., of UPMC.

This work is supported by the College of Pittsburgh Middle for Medical Innovation (grant F_309-2020-Turer).

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