Dr. Norman Swan cites Sengkang Hospital in Singapore and their Australian technology

Sengkang General Hospital in Singapore, stocked with 686 CleanSpace HALO Respirators, has treated 748 COVID-19 positive cases and has zero infected healthcare workers.

A paper, written by the hospital,  discusses the rationale and method of reprocessing CleanSpace® HALO™, to help other hospitals during the pandemic.

The Fight against COVID-19: disinfection protocol and turning over of CleanSpace® HALO™ in a Singapore Hospital

Frederick H. Koh1 · Moarie G. Tan2 · Min-Hoe Chew1

Positive pressure masks offer a greater deal of respiratory protection than N95 masks.

A positive-pressure mask is a type of respiratory protection device in which positive air pressure is maintained within the face whilst the device is in use and being worn/fitted properly. Air pressure within the face piece is defined as positive when it is greater than the ambient air pressure within which the mask exists.

The most common type of positive-pressure respirator is a pressure-demand respirator, which supplies air to the facepiece in response to a decrease in pressure due to breathing or a breach in the facepiece. Positive-pressure respirators provide a higher degree of protection than other types of respirators, as they prevent the intake of contaminants into the facepiece due to negative-pressure airflow.

Occupational health and safety agencies require the use of respirators in a variety of contexts where workers face exposure to hazardous substances or oxygen-deficient environments. The use of positive-pressure respirators is required for work that takes place in the most hazardous environments, such as those described as being “Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health” (IDLH).

Positive-pressure respirators include different types of respirators, including self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBAs), supplied air respirators (SARs), and powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs). Within these categories, positive-pressure respirators include pressure-demand devices as well as continuous-flow (CF) devices that move air through the respirator at a constant rate regardless of the wearer’s work rate. For CF devices, positive pressure is often defined in terms of its flow rate (cfm), while pressure-demand devices determine pressure via the use of a gauge.

Partial Transcript of Dr Swan’s comments from 4:30 onwards:

Yesterday I got it email from a senior researcher in Melbourne who has been looking around this area, and he discovered a letter from Singapore to a surgical journal in May about Sengkang Hospital in Singapore, it’s a relatively new hospital, 1,400 beds, and by the time this person had written in late May they had looked after about 750 people with COVID-19, with zero healthcare worker infections. There had been one person, I think a nurse in March, but it wasn’t caught in the hospital, zero.

And what had they been doing? They’d been using Australian technology. There is an Australian company in New South Wales that has a mask, and it’s a mask attached to a HEPA filter, so it’s an enclosed breathing system, a respirator system, which filters the virus out, and they ordered something like 700 of these respirator masks before COVID-19 and had them there, and they had been using them and they credit this significantly for the lack of (at least in May) healthcare worker spread. I understand that this mask system is selling hugely overseas but that not many facilities in our home country are using it.

Duration: 9min 50secBroadcast: Wed 12 Aug 2020, 4:01am

Full podcast can be found at abc.net.au