Auto shop and ER doctor invent tool to protect nurses from coronavirus

An auto shop and an emergency room doctor are collaborating together on a new invention to help healthcare workers treat patients with COVID-19.

An auto shop and an emergency room doctor are collaborating together on a new invention to help healthcare workers treat patients with COVID-19 while keep themselves at low risk from contracting the virus, according to CTV News.

Patients sometimes need assistance breathing after contracting coronavirus while they are in hospital. A tube has to be inserted into the patient's throat that releases oxygen and this procedure makes doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists much more vulnerable to contracting the virus, according to Dr. Kaveh Kavoosi.

“The challenge is when that’s happening, the virus which is sitting in the secretions of the lungs, has the highest risk of coming up to us,” said Dr. Kavoosi, who works in an emergency room in Alliston, Ontario.

Kavoosi became inspired after he saw a Taiwanese medical box that is placed over the patient's head to contain the exhale droplets from which the virus is transmitted and decided to invent his own version of the design.

Kavoosi posted the idea online to see if someone would be willing to collaborate on what he's called a PIRC (protective intubation and resuscitation cube). His offer was met by One Concept Auto in Toronto, only hours after he made the post.

“It’s a simple concept if you really think about it. We built speaker boxes so we have previous experience,” said Alex Labao, auto mechanic for the company. “It feels great to be part of something that could help in the time of need. It’s definitely a good feeling,”

Dr. Kavoosi beside his prototype

A number of prototypes have already being given out to hospitals in the GTA by Kavoosi, who is looking for healthcare workers to use them and then report back with any feedback on how they can be improved to ensure that no particles of the virus are able to escape confinement.

The box costs about $500 to make and is assembled by a 3D printer with cut-up pieces of acrylic.

Kavoosi said the box will follow Canadian guidelines and says he's aware that innovation is the key to overcoming this pandemic quickly. Kavoosi has also started a GoFundMe page to help raise money to get the design into production.

“There’s an element of human collaboration that’s very empowering and it can encourage others to be reaching into other industries as well, to support one another so we can all get through this, to honour that we are all in this together. Truly stepping up in the face of adversity,” said Kavoosi.