The Mexican-made isolation pod designed to tackle the coronavirus pandemic

The Mexican-made isolation pod designed to tackle the coronavirus pandemic
Alexis Miguel Lazo Fuentes designed the pod as a contribution to the health sector - Photo: Courtesy of Alexis Lazo and Luma López

The Mexican-made isolation pod designed to tackle the coronavirus pandemic

Mexico City
Leobardo Pérez Marín
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The pod allows for an easier transfer of patients from their house to the hospital

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Alexis Miguel Lazo Fuentes is a fashion designer and has a Communications degree. In the last month, he has become famous over something quite different from his profession: He designed a head isolation pod for patients with COVID-19. Since it only covers the head, it eases the transfer of patients to the hospital. The project is already working.

Unlike traditional equipment used to transfer patients infected with coronavirus from their house to the hospital so that they can receive medical care, this equipment, once put over the patient’s shoulders, allows for mobility and allows for the ambulance to transport up to three patients with the same health conditions at the time.

According to Alexis Miguel, the base of this laminar airflow cephalic isolation pod is made of acrylic, which is an easy-to-disinfect material, and the top part, which is disposable, has two air filters so that those who use it can breathe properly, and allowing the base to be used in other patients; moreover, it has a specific function when it comes to positive or suspected cases.

The equipment only covers the patient’s head to take them to the hospital

Negative pressure encapsulates the virus in people with confirmed COVID-19 cases, while positive pressure is for cases of immunosuppressed patients and has the function of oxygenating and ventilating the patient,” adds Alexis.

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He asserts this equipment has all the characteristics of a normal pod with the difference of his having the advantage of the top part being disposable. “The part where the filters are located has an internal skeleton made of acrylic that supports the whole equipment, therefore, the top part where the filters are is discarded when a new patient arrives because it was too much of a problem to take out the filters in the normal pods,” he explained to EL UNIVERSAL.

And he adds, “Hence, spare parts are quickly made here; they are made of a very practical, and relatively cheap material, the material is disinfected and then the parts are put on place.”

Alexis Miguel Lazo Fuentes asserts that the total cost of this isolation pod is of MXN $20,000, much cheaper than the traditional one, which costs approximately MXN $52,000, but he says that his design also allows the patients to feel less desperate and afraid.

“A single pod costs MXN $5,000; it’s the ventilation equipment that increases the price, depending on the battery… The whole pod costs between MXN $15,000 and $20,000,” he said.

The base of the pod is made of acrylic and the top part is disposable

Lazo Fuentes says that this is the contribution of his business to the health sector and is grateful for the Comalcalco hospital for accepting the project and actually using the three head isolation pods he has produced. “That was our contribution to the fight we’re having during this pandemic and this is how we can support the health sector, with this kind of kits to ease the work of frontline healthcare workers,” he says.

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“I made it to support people, for medical staff, because it’s a way to contribute, and if it gives us benefits, then we’re willing to support the hospitals that require them with low prices,” he mentions.

Likewise, the designer points out that so far, they have made and delivered three head isolation pods to the public hospital, but he wants other hospitals to know about them in order to bring them the equipment that would ease the transfer of patients with COVID-19.

He stresses they have the health sector’s endorsement because the isolation pods are already being used by medical personnel at the hospital that tends to patients in Comalcalco, one of the municipalities with the highest coronavirus infection rates.

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