With the 2020 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship season postponed, Supercars’ outfit Erebus Motorsport is now using its skills to manufacture medical supplies for health care workers on the front line.
The team are currently working overtime in their Melbourne-based workshop to develop and produce full-face masks and protective perspex boxes – two devices which offer critical protection for workers.
Under the guidance of Supercars Medical Delegate Dr Carl Le, the Victorian team plans to distribute the ‘e-masks’ nation-wide in the coming days, with 300 units near completion.
Erebus Motorsport CEO Barry Ryan was proud the team could contribute to the global fight against the virus with the team’s engineer Mirko De Rosa leading the program.
“It’s a challenging time and all Australians need to do all they can to help,” Ryan said.
“We are in a fortunate position where we have the ability to make this shift in our operations and help our health care workers and patients.
“Mirko approached Betty and I with the idea of making ventilation masks and in collaboration with Dr Carl Le, we have used our 3D printer to design and further develop ventilation masks for HCW’s that are based on underwater snorkelling masks.
“Rather than developing something complicated, these cost-effective masks with a 3D printed adaptor and easily replaceable P2/N95 filtration, can be mass produced and go straight away to health care workers on the front line – who are at high risk.”
As for the perspex ‘e-Aerosol Box’, the original device was designed by a Taiwanese doctor with the intention of fitting over a patient’s chest and neck and having three holes to allow the health care worker’s hands and a suction point to be connected.
Due to doctors and nurses having to be in close proximity of their contagious patients, both ground-breaking devices will allow them to treat patients more safely.
“One of the riskiest times for a health care worker is when a patient is particularly unwell and needs to be intubated,” Dr Le said.
“Because these workers must be in very close proximity to the patient, this box can provide an additional physical barrier.
“Every emergency department or ICU has wall suction, so we modified the box, which can vacuum potential droplets away from the area.’’
Two Melbourne hospitals are already trialling the ‘e-Aerosol Box’ with its cost-efficient design allowing the team to produce up to 20 per day.
In addition to these initiatives, which is backed by sporting goods supplier Decathlon, Dr Le and Ereubus Motorsport are also hoping to create a new communications system for isolation rooms.