We’re raising £5,000 to produce prototypes of a COVID-19 airways procedures box to provide our NHS intensive care doctors, anaesthetists and ear nose and throat (ENT) specialists with much needed protection as they work to save the lives of patients infected with COVID-19 and to stop the spread of the virus.
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness which means the specialists doing airway procedures on patients, such as intubation, face greater personal risk in contracting and spreading the virus. This novel airway box offers a protective screen against the droplets which are generated during airway procedures which contain high levels of virus.
As an ENT Consultant, working daily with some of the most dedicated consultants and nursing staff in intensive care and in operating theatres, I see the high level of risks they face. Tragically an ENT colleague lost his life at the weekend to COVID-19.
We are all working intensively and we do not want the capacity of ENT specialists and the NHS to be reduced by the absence of a very simple device which is low in cost to produce. Hospitals across the country have told us that they are in desperate need of such protective equipment and want to support the prototype testing.
Dr Marion Palmer, Senior Scientist at Hogan Lovells International LLP, and I adapted the box from an original design created by Dr.Hsien Yung Lai in Taiwan which he made available for use to reduce COVID-19 risks, and in just one week we have got to the manufacturing stage supported by Barkston Plastics Engineering Ltd and Barkston Plastics Ltd who are working on this at cost. The aim is to have all 20 prototypes delivered by Friday 3 April to five hospitals across the U.K. which will be trialling the device.
Photo of the original box by Dr. Hsien Yung Lai.