Academics and volunteers at the Muhammadiyah University of Malang (UMM) in East Java have developed a safety chamber to allow medical workers to examine patients while minimizing their potential exposure to COVID-19.
The newly developed safety chamber is made from fiberglass and is meant to shield patients and minimize direct contact with medical workers. The university’s hospital has made two variants, one that covers the upper half of the patient’s body and one that covers their entire body.
“The half-body model is used for examination and treatment, while the full-body one is used to minimize exposure when the patients are being transferred inside the hospital so that the patients won’t transmit the disease and the medical workers won’t catch it,” UMM Hospital’s COVID-19 response team coordinator Thontowi Djauhari said on Monday.
Thontowi said that the half-body model cost around Rp 2.2 million (US$134.43) to make while the full-body model cost around Rp 2.5 million, adding that the device would be mass-produced for other referral hospitals.
“If previously the patient was transported by nurses or medical workers who had to dress like astronauts, with this safety chamber, both the patient and the staff will be safer because the proper isolation method had been applied,” UMM Hospital director Djoni Djunaedi said.
He added that the hospital would continue to add new features and make improvements to the chamber, such as adding a breathing apparatus and using adhesive to prevent leakage, to increase the patients’ comfort during examination.
“The maintenance is easy, just clean it with alcohol, or just use detergent,” Thantowi said.
In addition to the safety chamber, the university has also designed a coverall suit made from waterproof material with a built-in face mask that only costs Rp 200,000 and can be used up to two times.
“One of its advantages is that medical workers don’t need to wear boots as the suit covers their body from head to toe, with the exception of their face and palms,” Thontowi said.
As the materials used in the suits are scarce, they would only be used at the UMM Hospital and other nearby hospitals. Thontowi, however, said he had given the blueprints and samples of the protective suit to the East Java and West Java provincial administrations to be replicated, adding that the hospitals would not file a patent.
The COVID-19 coronavirus has put a massive strain on Indonesia’s healthcare system, with reports of inadequate medical supplies and deaths of hospital workers as patient numbers continue to surge. (mfp)Artikel Asli