Birmingham experts collaborate to create an innovative ‘pop-up tent’ to protect frontline medical staff from COVID-19

09 April 2020

Birmingham researchers, clinicians and medical device experts have teamed up to design and produce an innovative ‘pop-up tent’ to protect frontline medical staff from COVID-19.

Experts from the University of Birmingham’s Medical & Dental School, Health Technologies Institute, and the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust have designed a new piece of equipment to help prevent transmission of COVID-19 from patients to medical staff.

The team went from design brief, final design and securing a manufacturing deal under a week, and the equipment is now available for purchase by the NHS and other healthcare providers.

Named Aerosol Shield, or Drs. INK (Disposable Resuscitation, Intubation and Nebulisation Kit Shield) the equipment is designed to reduce exposure to COVID-19 during procedures such as intubation, resuscitation, ventilation by Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) or Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP), delivering treatments by nebulizer, and any other intervention that requires medical staff to be close to the patient’s face.
Aerosol Shield consists of a wrapped, disposable, mini pop-up tent covering the patient’s head, neck and shoulder-level chest area, with a drape providing further coverage of the chest.

The shield is optically clear and has self-closing access points, allowing easy hand access in and around the patient’s airway, with full line of sight for medical staff.

It takes less than 20 seconds to assemble, is significantly lighter and cheaper than hard box solutions, and is collapsible for easy transport, storage and disposal in standard yellow clinical waste bins.

A video gallery of the product in use is available here.

The team of inventors has been working free of charge in order to deliver a solution that will protect frontline workers, including their friends and family.
The prototype was tested at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital with nursing staff, recovery room technicians and anaesthetists, and medical staff using the equipment report feeling safer, more comfortable and that it is easy to assemble and use.
Aerosol Shield is being manufactured by Airquee, a company that makes medical, emergency and decontamination tents for the military, health services, and humanitarian organisations.  The product is being sold at near-cost to healthcare providers (with a small margin to allow for any potential changes in raw material or manufacturing costs).

Further product information is available at:  https://airquee.com/en/technical/shield-aerosol-protection.html

Orders can be placed by using the contact form on website.

Aerosol Shield was designed by Matthew Campbell-Hill, Senior Fellow in Novel Medical Technologies at the University of Birmingham, Dr Egidio da Silva, Consultant Anaesthetist at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, GP Dr Lydia Campbell-Hill, Dr Mark Reeves, Director at MRA Technology Ltd, and Dr Richard Williams, Research Fellow at Birmingham’s Healthcare Technologies Institute.  Commercial support was delivered by David Juggins from Hugo Technology Ltd, and Design Assistant Richard Baker-Stevens.

Matthew and the development team who are bringing this project to market have been supported by the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network (WMAHSN) and their Industry Innovation Gateway delivered by MedilinkWM.
 

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