Healthcare workers to get protection from Air-Purifying Respirator developed by UP Manila, DOST

Air Purifying Respirator UP
3D image of the SIBOL PAPR prototype. Photo from DOST-PCHRD.

Healthcare workers are being offered protection by the Powered, Air-Purifying Respirator (PAPR) being developed by the University of the Philippines Manila and the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD).

The PAPR addresses the need to continuously develop ways to prevent COVID-19 transmission, especially among healthcare workers.

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The project: “SIBOL Personal Protective Equipment – Design and Development of Locally-Manufactured, Reusable, Powered, Air-Purifying Respirator (PAPR)” intends to design and develop an innovative PAPR as chemical and biological protection for COVID-19 high-risk procedures such as intubation, endoscopies, sample collection, and testing, among others.

The equipment will serve as additional personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers to reduce their risk of contracting COVID-19 while they care for the infected patients.

A PAPR uses a pump that moves contaminated air through a high-efficiency particulate (HEPA) filter which removes particulates through mechanical and electrostatic mechanisms. Built with three main components, the motor or air pump, the filter, and the mask or helmet, the PAPR provides contaminant-free air to the user.

“By conducting the project, we are aiming to offer additional protection for our healthcare workers, so that they may be able to carry out their tasks safely and comfortably,” says project leader Dr. Samuel Arsenio Grozman in the DOST-PCHRD report on July 3, 2020.

“Our healthcare workers are at the core of our battle against COVID-19,” emphasizes DOST-PCHRD Executive Director Jaime C. Montoya. “It is imperative that we mobilize our resources and maximize our capacities to provide R&D solutions that will assist and protect them in this fight,” he adds.

Aside from developing a PAPR that will meet the standards set by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the project also aims to activate the supply chain towards the production and testing of PAPR in the country.

As a highly-communicable disease with no definitive treatment, COVID-19 continues to pose risks to public health, especially healthcare workers who work at the frontlines.

The University of the Philippines also developed the SaniPod, a self-contained disinfection cubicle to sanitize medical frontliners or health care workers as they exit COVID-19 patient wards and the RxBox Vital Signs Monitoring Device to reduce face-to-face interaction between health workers and patients.

SEND WELL WISHES to the UP and DOST teams as they develop the Air Purifying Respirator to protect healthcare workers from COVID 19.

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