Thinking INSIDE the box

Two doctors and an engineer at Carnegie Mellon recently teamed up to develop an innovative solution to a big problem: The shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). The shortage was putting medical professionals at risk for COVID-19, particularly when intubating infected patients.

The solution they came up with was to customize a clear acrylic box that medical workers can reach into to perform procedures without being exposed to infectious fluid. The original box was invented by Taiwanese anesthesiologist Lai Hsien-Yung.

While Hsien-Yung’s design has been touted as a good way to protect workers, testing has shown a few issues. The goal of the Carnegie Mellon customization is to address those issues.

Burak Ozdoganlar, a professor of mechanical engineering joined Dr. Atac Turkay of the Heritage Valley Health System, and the system’s director of intensive care services, Dr. Matthew Woodske, are on the team.