UCLA researchers in the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine have developed a device that can act as a protective barrier for healthcare workers from patients with contagious respiratory pathogens.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) becomes scarce when contagious diseases, such as COVID-19, supply-shock healthcare. Typically, when patients infected with an airborne pathogen are admitted, they are isolated in negative pressure rooms to limit transmission of the pathogen and limit PPE consumption by healthcare workers to when they are in the patient’s immediate vicinity. However, negative pressure ICUs do not fully protect healthcare workers and medical equipment during epidemics and pandemics due to the volume of patients admitted in hospitals. Moreover, strict hand hygiene during an operation is logistically unfeasible for anesthesia providers and aerosol generating procedures. There is a need for the protection of healthcare workers at the highest risk of exposure to contagious respiratory pathogens during anesthesia and other aerosol generating procedures.
UCLA researchers in the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine have developed a device that acts as a physical barrier between patients and the environment. The device creates a microenvironment to contain respiratory droplets and aerosols from the patient to provide a barrier for healthcare workers at the highest risk of exposure to contagious respiratory pathogens. Moreover, the device contains negative pressure ports to connect a pre-existing smoke evacuation system to decrease aerosolization of droplets. The device was designed to be elastic and adjustable for both the patient and the healthcare worker.
Barrier has been successfully prototyped and demonstrated to limit healthcare work exposure to patient.
protective barrier from pathogens, versatile, PPE, surgical procedure, anesthesia, provider protection