As coronavirus hospitalizations begin to rise across the United States, entrepreneurs and private businesses continue to meet supply shortage demands for life-saving PPE.
As of April 1st, the U.S. officials reported some 215,000 cases with roughly 20% resulting in hospitalization for some time. In the face of the nationwide PPE shortage, Give•Need and others are trying to close the gap in PPE. Using 3-D printing techniques, Give•Need has begun printing intubation boxes. These boxes are a hard-clear plastic and easily folds into a flat package for quick and easy shipping. The boxes are also lightweight and are easily assembled by healthcare staff in a matter of minutes as needed. Perhaps even more encouraging, the “COVID-19 Boxes” can be 3-D printed by anyone. That’s why Give•Need has designed an intubation box and has begun 3-D printing the boxes for dispersion to hospitals across the nation.
The COVID-19 boxes are beneficial for creating an extra barrier of protection for health care workers. In many cases of hospitalization resulting from coronavirus, patients will need to be ventilated, or receive machine assistance to breathe. The process of ventilation, however, is risky for those performing it because nurses or doctors must open the airway of the patient using a plastic tube. The tube is placed into the trachea of the patient to hold open the airway and allow for placement of the ventilator breathing tube. This is risky because COVID-19 primarily spreads through contact with mucous membranes of those infected, such as saliva. During the intubation process, healthcare workers are more likely to get sneezed on, accidentally touch infected saliva, or come into contact with droplets expelled by the patient merely breathing. With the national shortage of PPE, it’s especially critical to creating as many safe barriers between infected substances/materials and others while ensuring that healthcare professionals can continue to work effectively.
The COVID-19 box does all of that. The 3-D printed design will work by having two armholes on the side facing the nurse or doctor. All other surfaces will be covered with clear plastic to prevent the spread of droplets, since COVID-19 can remain infectious for up to three hours in the air, according to John Hopkins University. Therefore, it is critical that any droplets which may become suspended in the air, are stopped and trapped immediately. Other research also suggests that COVID-19 can remain on plastic for up to 72 hours or 3 days. However, it’s important to note after 72 hours, only 0.1% of the virus remains intact, which is highly unlikely to cause an infection.
Give•Need will continue in its effort to manufacture these intubation boxes and would also like to ask for your support. Please contact us if you know of an organization that needs PPE, including intubation boxes. To see if your organization is already known to us, please visit our full list here. We also encourage suppliers or those with additional materials to please contact us here.
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