Simple outpatient procedures, such as an endoscopy, can expose healthcare workers to the risk of COVID-19 infection. However, a team of researchers from the gastroenterology departments at the Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine and the Japan Community Health Care Organization’s Sendai Hospital, have developed a simple, disposable, and inexpensive device to provide an additional barrier of protection.
An esophagogastroduodenoscopies (EGD) is an endoscopic procedure to allow doctors to examine a patient’s esophagus, stomach, and upper intestines.
The new device comprises a mouthpiece equipped with a fixing belt and a nonwoven fabric to cover the patient’s face, thereby capturing any aerosol droplets caused by coughing and retching.
The square, nonwoven fabric, which maintains high elasticity and air permeability, is attached to the tips of the mouthpiece using symmetric cuts made by scissors. An x-shaped incision at the center of the fabric acts as a sleeve for the endoscope–providing minimal interference.
Doctor Hiroyuki Endo, the corresponding author of the paper, said: “This device is expected to capture the coarse droplets from subjects undergoing an EGD and to reduce the diffusion of aerosol droplets. In addition to existing personal protective equipment, this simple and inexpensive device can be used as a standard precaution in every EGD.”