Like most people in the world, we also have been impacted locally by COVID-19 and wanted to help. Our team began brainstorming on ways in which we could help both our community but other communities. We put on our outside the box hats and got to work. We built partnerships, listened to health care providers, and worked with the community to understand how we could best help mitigate the risks associated with COVID. Our design and micro-manufacturing skills went to work and we produced three different projects to assist the community.
We were contacted by the local national guard to come up with a simple face shield that could be made with at-home products. Something Simple, Cheap, and easy to make. The #BountyShield is what we created and handed back to the National Guard to excellent reviews. It's amazing what a paper towel, transparency paper, and some twine can do.
But we had to do more to help.
Our team then tackled the critical shortage of ventilators. Up to 20% of patients infected with the novel coronavirus end up needing some sort of ventilation. Our quick solution was the design and build of a ventilator splitter that could service two patients with one ventilator. See more information below.
The final piece to our coronavirus work was the HEPAlet adapter for endotracheal tubes. Specifically once the stylet is removed from the endotracheal tube after intubation, and before the circuit or HEPA Filter can be connected, there can be aerosolized Covid-19 expelled from the open tube exposing the surrounding health care workers.
If you have an idea or concept to help people during this crisis, let us know and maybe when can build it. Stay safe.
Johns Hopkins and other institutions have recommended clamping the tube after stylet removal which can damage or dislodge the tube. West Virginia University Hospital emailed all anesthesia staff to remind staff of the importance of HEPA Filter usage in suspected patients.
Our team has designed a simple 3D printed solution in which the stylet and HEPA Filter can both be operational in the endotracheal tube simultaneously. A one way valve from an Ethicon 5mm Abdominal Trocar prevents back flow of air from the patient when the stylet is removed after intubation. This small inline improvement to the circuit should help protect anesthesia staff in the Operating room or Emergency room.
Some hospitals in New York have already been faced with over-extensions of the healthcare infrastructure that have forced them to use techniques that allow multiple patients to use a single ventilator.
Prisma Health (in SC) has introduced an initial design and open-sourced to hospitals which, once again, Intermed Partners in partnership with Mon Health has been working on implementing and testing.
Ventilator splitting solutions come with challenges, so Intermed has been improving the designs to allow for greater efficacy of the device in real-world use cases. They are also working closely with Dr. Paul Gera, MD at Mon Health.
The Intermed Labs design is called VSplitr. Intermed has released the designs for VSplitr this can be printed by anyone with an FSM 3D printer. Others in the community like Mon Health Foundation, M&S Consulting, and individuals at Mountain State Capital are chipping in by connecting hospitals and front-line experts (anesthesiologists) with this technology as well helping Intermed increase operational capacity to ramp up production of the devices.
Shipments of Vsplitr's have been shipped out to NYC and Pennsylvania already to help with their overcrowded hospitals.