Open source aerosol shield for intubation and anaesthesia

Team Lead: Manish Arora

The virus causing COVID-19 can be transmitted through droplets of different size (less than 10 micrometres) which get airborne in vicinity of an infected patient [1]. The medical team which comes in proximity needs to be protected from this undesirable exposure to the virus.

During a crisis, when shortage of personal protective equipment is expected, alternative solutions will be needed to protect the medical team. While placing a patient on a ventilator or anaesthesia, a tube is inserted into the patients’ airways through his/her mouth. This exposes the medical team to the air exhaled by the patient, which might carry aerosolized infectious virus. Doctors in Taiwan came up with a transparent box which can be put around a patient and this was shared widely as innovative solution in social media [2].

A medical team in NIMHANS, Bangalore, also found this to be a suitable approach and contacted IISc for help in fabricating this. Design files were already made available under creative commons share alike license. Upon review, it was decided that the design should be modified according to the bed size in the operating theatre (OT) and the intensive care unit (ICU).

Despite the lockdown, the material was sourced from a local vendor and cut using laser router at the Centre for Product Design and Manufacturing (CPDM) and four such boxes were assembled within 48 hrs. Additional adhesive was applied to ensure stability and ruggedness of the box. Doctors were able to conduct the intubation procedure with the box and found it suitable for the purpose.

Aerosol shield boxes as fabricated (top) and being used in NIMHANS operating theatre on an otherwise healthy patient (bottom)


  • Manish Arora, faculty member, CPDM
  • Deval Karia, Research Associate, CPDM
  • Collaborator: M. Radhakrishnan, Prof. & HoD Department of Neuroanaesthesia and Neuro Critical Care, NIMHANS

We acknowledge Qogno Digital Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. for support in transportation.

[1] Model of Modes of transmission of virus causing COVID-19, WHO Scientific Brief, Available online: , WHO Refence number: WHO/2019 -nCoV/Sci_Brief/Transmission_modes/2020.2


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