THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Even as medical professionals pull out all stops in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the disposal of infected patients’ secretions has been posing a challenge to the state’s hospitals.
To counter this, the Biomedical Technology Wing (BTW) of the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST) has come up with an innovation — the Chitra AcryloSorb Secretion Solidification System.
Under the system, suction canisters — which are spill-proof and can be sealed after use — will be used to collect liquid respiratory secretions from patients at the ICU or the wards.
“Generally in the ICU, the secretions are sucked into bottles or canisters by a suction machine, which have to be emptied when full. There is a risk of recontamination in this method. The merit of AcryloSorb is that there is no such risk and it can absorb at least 20 times more liquid,” said an official at the BTW.
Another major innovation from the BTW is the disinfection gateway -- designed for the decontamination of people, one at a time.
“The whole system is controlled electronically. The sensors mounted in the chamber detects the entry of a person and starts the hydrogen peroxide mist generation process. The person is required to walk through the chamber to its end. When the person exits, the system will shut off the hydrogen peroxide fumigation system and then turn on the UV lamp inside the chamber to decontaminate it. The UV light is switched off automatically after a prescribed time, and the chamber is ready for the next person. The whole process takes just about 40 seconds,” added the official.
Bubble helmet ventilation, isolation pods
Yet another stand-out innovation by Sree Chitra institute is its ‘bubble helmet’ for ventilation. The helmet is most suitable for patients suffering from acute respiratory distress syndrome caused by COVID- 19.
Sealed with a soft, airtight collar that wraps around the neck, the helmet covers the patients’ head and ensures a proper, steady supply of oxygen.
As per the institute, the bubble helmet will help critically-ill patients breathe better and prevent them from needing intubation with a ventilator.
The institute has also developed an isolation pod for carrying COVID-19 patients from one place to another.
The pod will ensure the safety of the people carrying the patient.