Engineers at the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry, working in collaboration with expert medical consultant practitioners, Rolls-Royce, and supported by Innovate UK, have over the last week prototyped, developed and trialled a fast-make Intubation Shield for use with ventilators.
Wider applications for the shield have also been identified, further aiding the safety of front-line medical staff.
It is anticipated that the NHS may need several thousand of these shields, with the MTC set to manufacture the first batch of up to a thousand units.
The MTC is currently mobilising resources to ramp up immediate capacity to upwards of two hundred units a day, which can be quickly scaled up across multiple supply chains in order to meet higher demands.
The shield has undergone multiple design changes following trials in three hospitals which has helped development from the initial prototype through to the manufacture of the first production units.
Feedback from medical professionals suggests that the shields could not only be used during intubation and extubation procedures but also several other medical procedures beyond COVID-19.
This means they could also potentially be used in intensive care units and theatres.
A technical pack for a flat-pack Intubation Shield is already available for download.
Further technical packs, including drawings and assembly instructions, are set be published in the next two to three days by the MTC, ensuring other manufacturers also have access to these designs which will be open source.
In addition, the shields will also be made available as flat-pack self-assembly kits which can be deployed quickly and assembled on-site with ease.
Files containing design packs for the Intubation shield are available as a free open-source download on the MTC Web site (www.the-mtc.org/news-items/intubation-shield-supporting-our-frontline-nhs-workers