IAF develops airborne isolation pod for Covid patients

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has developed an Airborne Rescue Pod for Isolated Transportation (ARPIT) for evacuation of critical patients with infectious diseases, including COVID-19, from high altitude areas, and isolated and remote places

Jun 09, 2020
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The Indian Air Force (IAF) has developed an Airborne Rescue Pod for Isolated Transportation (ARPIT) for evacuation of critical patients with infectious diseases, including COVID-19, from high altitude areas, and isolated and remote places.

Requirement of an air evacuation system with facility to prevent the spread of infectious aerosol from a COVID-19 patient during air travel was felt by IAF when COVID-19 was declared as a global pandemic. The first prototype was developed at 3 Base Repair Depot in Chandigarh and has undergone various modifications.

"Only indigenous materials have been used to fabricate this pod," the IAF said.

This indigenously designed system has been developed at a cost of Rs 60,000, which is very less as compared to the imported systems costing up to Rs 60 lakh.

The system has been developed as a lightweight isolation system made from aviation certified material.

"It has a transparent and durable cast Perspex for enhanced patient visibility which is larger, higher and wider than the existing models," the force said.

The isolation system caters to suitable number of air exchanges, and includes integration of medical monitoring instruments and ventilation for an intubated patient.

In addition, it generates high constant negative pressure in the isolation chamber for prevention of infection risk to the aircrew, ground crew and healthcare workers involved in air transportation.

"The ARPIT utilises High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) H-13 class filters and supports invasive ventilation using Transport Ventilator," the force said.

The design integrates life support and monitoring instruments (defibrillator with multipara monitor, pulse oximeter, Infusion pumps), long arm gloves for use by health care professionals and power pack with high endurance.

The design requirements are based on the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers and Centre for Disease Control, US.