Pulse oximetry (scarcity)


Over the past eight years, Lifebox has distributed 1108 devices in Ethiopia, typically directly to anaesthesia providers; nearly half of those surveyed had received one, and of 140 devices that were identified during the survey work, 123 were still in use up to 7 years later (nine were reported as missing and eight reported as malfunctioning). These were typically owned by the providers themselves and were thus not available for flexible clinical use.

Despite its durability and usefulness in clinical care, there were very few generally available portable pulse oximeters that could move to areas of a hospital as needed, whether to recovery rooms, intensive care, emergency units, or even point-of-care screening and triage areas.

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Duration of infectivity


Readouts from semiquantitative RT-PCR using Ct values provide a valuable proxy for infectious virus detection and may help to inform decision-making on infection control. This study adds to the evidence base on duration of infectiousness following mild-to-moderate COVID-19, demonstrating that infectious virus can persist for a week or more after symptom onset, declining over time. At 10 days after symptom onset, in line with current guidance from the World Health Organization and the United Kingdom on release from isolation, probability of culturing virus declines to 6%. 

FIGURES 1 + 2. Relationship between culture positivity and time between symptom onset and sample collection, SARS-CoV-2, England, January–May 2020 (n = 246) .

SOURCE: Eurosurveillance

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HEPA filters + anterooms


The outbreak of COVID-19, and its current resurgence in the United States has resulted in a shortage of isolation rooms within many U.S. hospitals admitting COVID-19-positive cases. As a result, hospital systems, especially those at an epicenter of this outbreak, have initiated task forces to identify and implement various approaches to increase their isolation capacities.

This paper describes an innovative temporary anteroom in addition to a portable air purifier unit to turn a general patient room into an isolation space. Using an aerosolization system with a surrogate oil-based substance, we evaluated the effectiveness of the temporary plastic anteroom and the portable air purifier unit. Moreover, the optimal location of the portable unit, as well as the effect of negative pressurization and door opening on the containment of surrogate aerosols were assessed.

Results suggested that the temporary anteroom alone could prevent the migration of nearly 98% of the surrogate aerosols into the adjacent corridor. Also, it was shown that the best location of a single portable air purifier unit is inside the isolation room and near the patient’s bed.

The outcome of this paper can be widely used by hospital facilities managers when attempting to retrofit a general patient room into an airborne infection isolation room.

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