As part of the University’s COVID-19 Preparedness Committee, a host of personal protective equipment is being 3D printed and fabricated to safeguard medical personnel.
Looking like something right out of a Hollywood horror film, smoke billowed from the patient simulator’s mouth and nose, filling a pyramid-shaped acrylic chamber that encased the mannequin’s head.
Standing nearby was Dr. Richard McNeer, an anesthesiologist at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
The chamber, he observed, was working flawlessly, preventing the smoke—in this case, theatrical fog used to mimic COVID-19 respiratory particles—from reaching him and the team of other health care experts who had gathered to test the device as part of a mock intubation procedure.
But then, McNeer had one of those “aha’’ moments. He discovered that a Yankauer, a special suctioning tool used in many medical procedures, could actually evacuate most of the aerosol particles if it were positioned—prior to intubation—strategically near the opening of the mannequin’s vocal cords.
“It was a serendipitous discovery,” McNeer recalled. “Suction has been used to remove everything from stomach contents to blood. But this is perhaps the first time it’s been considered for use in suctioning out aerosols. This is something that can be done upstream of just about any of the other strategies and safety measures to prevent exposure to the virus during intubation.”
A formidable one-two punch, the chamber, or intubation box, and suction tubing are part of a broad University of Miami initiative to 3D print and fabricate devices and personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical personnel on the front lines of the war against COVID-19.
Read on >>>> Source: UM News Engineers, architects, nurses, and doctors team up to protect health care workers