The COVID Airway Screen offers supplementary protection to healthcare workers from droplet splatter generated during aerosol-generating procedures (AGPs). The COVID Airway Screen is a simple clear plastic box that sits over the patient’s head. It is easy to use, and is very quick to remove.
Through the generosity of individuals who contributed to a Crowdfunder campaign, we are able to offer these devices free of charge to NHS hospitals.
Uses could include:
- ITU procedures (mouth care, tube disconnections, broncho-alveolar lavage)
The COVID pandemic has presented unique challenges to healthcare workers (HCWs). Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for aerosol-generating procedures (AGPs) is in widespread use, with different recommendations in different regions. However, it is clear that supplies of PPE have run short in many countries, leaving HCWs even more exposed.
With this in mind, Dr.Hsien Yung Lai in Taiwan invented a Perspex airway box to cover the patient’s head during intubation. We have modified this design in response to feedback from anaesthetists. In particular, we have replaced the arm holes with arches to allow rapid removal of the screen without the need for the clinician to withdraw their arms.
We have trialled several prototypes in hospitals around the UK. Our design:
- Is lightweight
- As with other PPE (e.g. goggles), can be wiped with disinfecting wipes (e.g. Clinell)
- Can easily be removed in the event of needing rapid access to the whole of the patient’s head.
There has been much discussion in the literature about the need for protection whilst during airway procedures and hopefully this is the first step in the evolution of this protection. Other engineers are also developing products to address this need and we want to gather as much data as possible about the strengths and weaknesses to assist in the further development of products and strategies to mitigate the risk of infection during airway procedures. To this end we would be grateful if those requesting a screen use the feedback questionnaire to provide data that we can share.
Potential uses of the Covid Airway Screen include
- Intubation of COVID and non-COVID patients
– It is important to practice intubation procedures with a mannequin prior to use of the screen with a patient
- Mouth care on ITU
- Tube manipulations on ITU
– for example, any disconnections that might be required – e.g. tube suction if a closed-suction system is not available, or broncho-alveolar lavage.
The Crowdfunding campaign has given us sufficient funds to supply a number of these COVID Airway Screens to hospitals free of charge (including delivery).
The logistics are being organised by the National Equipment Appeal Database.
The Covid Airway Screen is not patented – it falls under a “Creative Commons license”, which means that anyone is free to use the design to make it. If you would like the technical specifications, please contact us.
If you have any queries, please contact us.
We are immensely grateful to the following for their invaluable support in this work: