Development, fabrication and testing of aerosol shield boxes to protect medical staff from COVID‑19 during intubation procedures

Gosselin, Frederick | $75,000

Quebec École Polytechnique de Montréal 2020 NSERC Alliance COVID-19 Grant

Tracheal intubation is one of the highest-risk moments for COVID‑19 transmission to healthcare workers and other patients. The current strategy in Canadian hospitals to minimise the risk to healthcare workers during these procedures is to shield the workers from droplets and aerosols by having them wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). We believe that better containment and even elimination of the droplets and aerosols should be done at the source, i.e., at the patient.

We are a team composed of engineering professors from Polytechnique Montreal and Ecole de Technologie Superieure, medical doctors from Hopital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, and plastic manufacturing specialists from the SME CYB Plastiques. We propose to develop three (3) different designs of aerosol containment enclosures to put around the patient during high risk procedures to shield the room from exposure. We will minimally adapt existing box designs and establish a Canadian production network to put them in our hospitals ASAP. We will develop a box with improved performance and better functionalities. We will develop a disposable box which can be mass-produced cheaply and rapidly. We will test in the lab and visualise the effectiveness of the different box designs to confine/eliminate aerosols with fluorescent particles, and perform clinical tests at the hospital of pre-approved prototypes. Finally, to maximise the adoption of these boxes in Canadian hospitals, we will disseminate the open-source design freely and communicate with medical practitioners to inform them about the availability of these boxes made in Montreal.

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