Medical Barrier Innovations
A HALC.Africa Initiative
Put a Barrier Between Medical Staff and Patients
International analysis has shown that healthcare workers in closer contact with infected patients suffered more severe illness with higher mortality. Barrier protection between the patient and the healthcare worker is shown to reduce the risk of direct droplet contamination. An article published in the New England Journal of Medicine in April 2020 showed the marked reduction in droplet contamination during intubation with a barrier device.
Investigation of recent outbreaks of COVID-19 in South African hospitals has laid blame for transmission from health care worker to patients hospitalised for unrelated illness. This has created a reluctance and anxiety in patients to visit hospitals.
Medical Barrier Innovations has been commissioned to develop products in collaboration with Radiologists to assist in protecting medical staff and patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Safety Case
A Barrier to Protect Medical Staff and Patients
The Safety Case was conceived to help prevent direct droplet contamination from supine patient to Healthcare worker and vice versa during Radiological examinations that require close contact such as Ultrasound, CT and MRI scanning. The Safety Case may similarly be suitable for consultations in other medical professions and personal services where staff are working in close contact with supine clients.
What it is
The Safety Case is a lightweight PET (Polyethylene terephthalate)-based cube-shaped device, with 4 solid sides and 2 open sides. A sliding removable clip is located on 1 open side.
How it works
The sanitised Safety Case is placed over the supine patient’s head and a standard disposable linen saver is clipped into position over the front open side of the cube and spread out over the patient’s chest. In effect, the Safety Case acts as a giant visor, and the linen saver as a giant mask.
Key design features
Lightweight, durable FDA approved food-grade material
Transparent thin walls to allow the patient to see and hear surroundings clearly
Flexible to accommodate variation in patient size
Simple sliding clip to hold standard disposable linen saver in place
Easy to sterilise with alcohol-based agents
Small cut-outs at base for ventilation
Passes through the bore of the CT scanner at isocentre
Possible to remain in place over the supine patient’s head throughout transportation within the hospital from ward to CT scanner and back to the ward without removal.
Can accommodate patient wearing oxygen mask
With the Safety Case in use there is potential to reduce the risk of equipment contamination. This could allow for faster cleaning of the examination room after each consultation.
The Safety Case can pass through the bore of all MRI scanners when placed over the patients head for the duration of examinations such as spine, body and extremity imaging. Testing has been performed on a number of MRI scanners to accommodate the brain coil for brain MRI. The unit has been shown to flex adequately to accommodate the entire brain coil in testing to date. Variation in brain coil size across all manufacturers has however precluded complete testing due to the large variation in MRI machine age and design.
The Safety Case is not intended to replace PPE in any way
There is no claim that this device will prevent the spread of COVID-19; it is simply an additional measure to limit droplet spread.
The Safety Case was designed to suit a standard linen saver. Alternative barrier sheeting may be sought by the professional if needed.
The professional using the device should draft a procedure on how to store, sanitise and utilise the Safety Case in their practice/clinic.
It is for the professional to determine whether The Safety Case is appropriate for use on each of their patients on a case-by-case basis.
The Safety Case must in no way impede the duties of the healthcare worker to the patient.
The patient must not be left unattended with the Safety Case in place.
A well-established Radiology practice in Durban has been using The Safety Case prototype since mid-May 2020 and the production units are now being rolled out in all of their premises across the city. The Safety Case provides barrier protection to the radiology staff when examining COVID-19 positive patients, and similarly may provide peace-of-mind for COVID-19 negative patients requiring radiology examinations unrelated to COVID-19.
Initial patient response is positive in that they feel protected from potential infection by a healthcare worker during close-contact imaging procedures.
The X-Ray Booth
A Barrier to Protect Radiographic Staff and Equipment
Evaluation of patients under investigation (PUI) for COVID-19 in a triage scenario often requires chest x-ray. We were commissioned to develop a barrier environment for protection of the radiographer and portable x-ray equipment in this situation.
What it is
The X-Ray Booth is a steel-framed plastic enclosure 2.1m high, 1.2m wide and 1.2m deep, not unlike a large telephone booth. There are 3 fixed walls, an open top and a hinged door for patient access. The walls and door are made of lightweight clear plastic material. There is an adjustable cassette/detector frame allowing for easy vertical adjustment to compensate for patient height. The frame can accommodate cassette-only or cassette with grid for other X-ray purposes. The X-Ray booth is pre-assembled for easy and immediate setup.
How it works
The patient is requested to step inside the booth once prepped for X-ray. Thereafter the entire imaging process including adjustment of the detector and portable x-ray unit occurs while the patient and radiographer are separated by the 2.1m high walls. Due to the clear and lightweight nature of the wall material there is easy communication to the patient at all times.
The construction materials allow for easy wipe or spray down with sterilizing agent between patients and this could also be performed from the outside of the booth with appropriate spray equipment over the top of the walls.
The prototype unit has been in use in a private hospital in Durban in their COVID-19 triage tent. This has been well received, often reducing staff requirement from 2 radiographers to 1. There is perceived to be very low risk of contamination of the x-ray detector.
Design Services and Custom Products
We have partnered with excellent product designers who will be able to produce a reliable and cost-effective custom solution should we not be able to source a product that meets your needs.
Orders and Enquiries
Please contact us if you require more information about our products or to place an order
Please leave your contact details and we will contact you within 12 hours.
Contact Us Directly
Cell: +27 761 194 521
All-female innovators helping in the fight against Coronavirus
Medical Barrier Innovations is a South African based company founded in collaboration with HALC.Africa as an initiative to help tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. Our all-female team are innovative and determined to help healthcare facilities and staff in the global fight against the pandemic. We are using all our resources, skill and creativity to collaborate with companies and experts in the medical field to develop and deliver solutions that protect medical staff, patients and the general public.