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Covid-19: Tech startup develops 3D printed sanitisation stations to safeguard healthcare workers

As speculations rise over the third wave of coronavirus, a startup led by alumni of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras has developed the country’s first 3D-printed ‘doffing units’ to safeguard healthcare workers.

Doffing is the process for removal of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and requires proper sanitisation. Doffing units are needed for doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers to sanitise themselves after their shifts, safely remove the PPE kits and dispose them off properly, eliminating the risk of carrying the infection or the deadly virus to their homes.

Tvasta, a startup founded by IIT Madras alumni, has now collaborated with Saint-Gobain to develop a 3D-printed doffing unit amid the speculated third wave of coronavirus. Two of these units have already been launched, while the third is under construction.

The two launched units are in Chennai. While the first is at a government hospital in Kancheepuram, the other is at Omandurar Medical College and Hospital in the city. The third unit is set to come up at Government Medical College and Hospital in Thiruvalluvar.

The 3D printed units offer a unique advantage by lowering the presence of construction workers near a hospital where Covid-19 patients are admitted. The units are printed offsite with only the assembly happening at the hospital. The startup prints these Doffing Units at Perungudi near Chennai and then transports them in a modular way.

Earlier in May, the Civil Engineering Department of IIT Madras had also collaborated with Chengalpattu Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) to design and develop doffing units for healthcare workers.

How to conduct doffing?

According to the US-based Centre for Disease Control (CDC), here’s how doffing is to be conducted:

  • Remove gloves using the glove-in-glove technique for minimal contamination
  • Remove the gown by reaching up to the shoulders and carefully pull the gown down and away from the body before rolling it up
  • Perform hand hygiene
  • Remove face shield or goggles without touching the front of the shield or goggles
  • Remove and discard the facemask without touching its front part
  • Perform hand hygiene and sanitisation again

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