Rapid Deployable Personal Respirators for Healthcare Professionals in Treating COVID‑19 Patients (ESPOiR)
Our society is facing a unique coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) that has been declared as a public health emergency by the World Health Organization. Globally, until April 3rd, 2020, there have been reported more than 1 Million confirmed cases and 55,000 deaths. The frontline medical staff are in constant danger of being exposed to COVID‑19 infection. In Italy, an estimated 20% of healthcare workers responding to the COVID‑19 outbreak have become infected and makeup 9% of the country’s cases. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) shortage has been described as the most severe issue. Personal respirators are an alternative, but their design needs to protect workers besides providing comfort. They use a fan to draw in air through a filter and deliver it to an enclosed hood or face mask. However, most respirator products are unavailable and are expensive or heavy, noisy, uncomfortable, and not conforming to Canada Health and U.S. Food and Drugs Act (FDA) standards. Therefore, the researchers at the University of Alberta aims to support health professionals with a speedy, safe, robust, affordable, and available solution to help protect them in intensive care facilities.