COVID-19 Related – Patient Directed Device for Airway Manipulation

Healthcare workers are highly specialized and trained. They work in close proximity to patients regardless of the disease. In emergency room and many other hospital settings, healthcare workers are dealing with known and unknown pathogens, which makes them more vulnerable to transmitted diseases. One study estimates the annual death rate for healthcare workers from occupational events, including infection, at 17–57 per 1 million workers. However, the mortality increases with infectious disease. As of April 9, 2020, one hundred doctors have died of coronavirus in Italy alone during the 2020 corona virus pandemic. Interventions to prevent such infections to date have focused on the healthcare provider applying more personal protective equipment (PPE). Our team has developed a transparent face shield with a sealing port for accessing the patient. This barrier will provide a first line of defense to isolate the healthcare worker from infectious droplets and reduce the burden on PPE. In a hospital setting, the shield can be mounted to a bed or other fixed mounting point with an articulating arm. In less controlled settings, for example, use by EMS first responders, the shield can be mounted directly on the patient’s head. The first iteration of this mask will target the procedure of intubating a patient. However, in the future this could be expanded to oral and laryngeal surgery, emergency airway procedures, bronchoscopy, or dentistry. Sathya Balachander sathyab@uab.edu (205) 975-6851

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