Amidst the increasing spread of COVID-19 Pandemic all over the world, doctors and scientists are working on various methods to combat this deadly disease. Dr Sameer Arbat from Nagpur, India recently designed a safety box for performing difficult bronchoscopy procedures in suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients.
This is the first of its kind in the world, developed specifically for performing bronchoscopy with infected patients. The prototype developed by Dr Sameer was scrutinised by doctors from Italy, USA and India and its innovation has already gathered international recognition.
Considering the difficulties that Italy is facing with the increased number of COVID-19 cases, the Italian Society of Pulmonologists broadcasted Dr Sameer Arbat’s invention at an international webinar. Dr. Stefano Gasparini, one of the pioneers of bronchoscopy in the world and Ex- President of WCBIP, was chairing this broadcast and highlighted the importance of this invention and has named it the “Arbat Safet Box”. Dr Gasparini discussed the risks involved in performing bronchoscopy in time of COVID-19 pandemic. He stressed on the need for the doctors to use adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and have a negative pressure system installed in all bronchoscopy suites.
COVID-19 is the name of the disease caused due to the deadly Coronavirus (SARS-COV-2). As the disease is spread through coughing and sneezing, it is very risky to perform bronchoscopy or intubation procedures in patients suspected of or confirmed COVID-19 disease. The aerosols generated by a patient during such procedures can infect the doctor as well as spread in the surrounding area thus infecting other patients.
The “Bronchoscopy Safety Box” designed by Dr Arbat is a see-through box with apertures on different sides. There are two operator apertures, one assistant aperture and one bronchoscopy aperture. Dr Arbat has developed two models, one with plastic sheet valves and another with rubber gloves. There is an additional aperture for connecting a negative suction cannula for suctioning the aerosol generated during the procedure.
The patient end has PVC sheet curtains to accommodate the shoulders/chest of the patient. The box is also useful in Endotracheal Intubation, a procedure necessary for patients of COVID-19 who land up in respiratory failure.
The design was conceptualised and designed in the past few days by Dr Arbat by using existing acrylic sheets and plastic materials available in the hospital as all vendors were shut due to the lockdown. The prototype model has been already used and can be easily replicated by any doctor or hospital for treating patients of COVID-19.
“There is a lot of cross-infection risk involved in performing bronchoscopy procedures with patients of COVID-19. The idea of the safety box came to my mind after I saw some designs being used for intubation in other countries. I improvised it to act as a multipurpose box for performing bronchoscopy as well as intubation procedures. I believe it is very economical to fabricate and should be useful for all doctors all over the world. It is advisable for the doctors and staff to wear proper Personal Protective Equipment for maximum safety” commented Dr Sameer Arbat.
Dr Sameer Arbat is a consultant Interventional Pulmonologist at KRIMS Hospitals, Nagpur, India and has been actively involved in creating awareness about Coronavirus through social media and community education. This is his third invention in the field of Respiratory Medicine. He is the youngest International Faculty to teach at WABIP and has performed more than 800 Interventional procedures including Cryotherapy, EBUS, Endobronchial Debulking and Thoracoscopy.
Procedure performed with Safety Box –
- Diagnostic Broncho Alveolar Lavage
- Bronchoscopy Guided Intubation
- Bronchoscopy Brushings
- Bronchial Biopsy
- Endo-Bronchial Ultrasound
- Laryngoscope Intubation
- Therapeutic Broncho Alveolar Lavage
Useful in cases of –
- Suspected COVID-19
- Confirmed COVID-19
- Swine-Flu –H1N1
- Multi Drug Resistant TB
- Other Viral Infections