Kozhikode NIT develops affordable, reusable safety device for health workers
Kozhikode: The research fellows in NIT here have developed an aerosol box to prevent coronavirus transmission from patients to health workers including doctors. The affordable and reusable safety device is useful when hospitals are facing shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kit. Kozhikode medical college has started using the new device.
When the patients in isolation wards sneeze or cough, the droplets may fall on health workers causing disease transmission. In order to prevent this, the patient's head and body upto chest are placed inside the transparent box. The patients in critical condition need to be connected to ventilator. They are helped to breathe via tubes. The anaesthetists who fix the tube are likely to catch the disease from patients.
When aerosol box is used, it acts as a safety wall between the patient and the doctors. The anaesthetists can fix the equipment for breathing through the holes on the sides of the box. The device is made of transparent acrylic and it can be reused after sanitizing. Production cost is around Rs 3500.
Dr K P Biji, associate professor of Anesthesiology in Kozhikode medical college, suggested the idea of aerosol box. Following this, Anesthesiology Department COVID nodal officer Dr PMA Basheer sought help of NIT to develop the device. The equipment was designed by NIT's research fellow Muhammed Shafeeq, Dr Hanas and Dr Jimmy Jose under the leadership of Assistant Professor of Physics Dr N V Subramanian.
First they developed a box on trial basis and later modified it according to the opinions given by the Anesthesiology Department. If community transmission of coronavirus started, safety equipment will be in huge demand. The affordable aerosol boxes can be used everywhere in such contexts, said Dr Biji.