A new type of aerosol shield – designed by businesses in the Silverstone Technology Cluster (STC) network – to improve the treatment of COVID-19 patients and safety of clinical staff has been approved for use at a leading NHS trust.
The innovative ‘OXBox’ has been overseen by a collaboration including STC Ambassador Dr Cristiana Pace’s Enovation Consultancy Ltd business, motorsport engineering company and STC member One Group Engineering, and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundations Trust (OUH).
The Renault DP Formula 1 Team, with its highly advanced understanding of CFD (computational fluid dynamics), and the OxSTaR (Oxford Simulation, Teaching & Research) centre have also played significant roles.
The OXBox is designed to keep frontline staff safe during the process of ‘intubation’ and ‘ex-tubation’.
Bianca Tingle, a Consultant Anaesthetist at OUH, has been involved in the development of the new device. She said: “We believe the OXBox is the best aerosol shield available. We predict it will be used beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is unique because it is completely collapsible, easy to stow away – space is a precious commodity in hospitals – and is much easier to clean than other similar devices being developed, which helps enormously with infection control. These were the key features we were looking for.
“It adds a vital layer of protection for clinical staff. Removal of PPE (‘doffing’) is the riskiest moment for us, but keeping aerosols inside the OXBox greatly reduces contamination of us and the surrounding area. This is turn reduces delays between procedures in remote areas as we are not waiting for aerosols to settle.”
Aside being re-usable and included information on how to dispose the box appropriately after its life-cycle, a life cycle assessment is planned in order to be able to produce the box from recycled material.
More information can be found at www.theoxfordbox.com