ODESSA, Texas — The UTPB College of Engineering has designed and donated a stainless steel and plexiglass box to Odessa Regional Medical Center, allowing doctors to safely treat patients without most of the personal protective equipment they would normally be required to use.
The implementation of the box for COVID-19 testing will allow the facility to preserve the unused items of personal protective equipment, which are currently in high demand among medical workers.
“It’s a rectangular, air tight, enclosure. There will be a medical worker inside with medical gloves. An individual can then walk up and get tested for COVID-19. This unit will help us in preserving personal protection equipment,” said UT Permian Basin Dean of Engineering Dr. George Nnanna.
Dr. Nnanna says that the project required the participation of several community members, including the West Texas COVID-19 Relief Consortium, and that materials were paid for by Deliron, Westech Seal, and the Odessa Development Corporation.
According to Rohith Saravanan, ORMC Chief Medical Officer, the box is covered on all sides by transparent plexiglass and is 8 feet tall, 3 feet wide, and 3 feet deep, weighing 400 pounds.
“The medical grade heavy-duty nitrile glove is the only thing that touches the patient, and it can be wiped down after each collection," explained Dr. Saravanan.
The college hopes to provide other area hospitals with similar equipment after receiving multiple requests.
“I think it proves the quality of our program at UT Permian Basin and it speaks a lot about our students," said Nnanna, "For them to step in at a moment’s notice and be able to transfer what they learned in the classroom into reality, engineering a system that will help our community, is incredible."