The Indian Air Force (IAF) has designed, developed and inducted an Airborne Rescue Pod for Isolated Transportation (ARPIT) for the evacuation of critical patients with infectious diseases like COVID-19 from high altitude area, isolated and remote places.
The first prototype was developed by Chandigarh-based 3 Base Repair Depot (BRD) of the IAF.
The requirement of an air evacuation system with the facility to prevent the spread of infectious disease during air travel was felt by IAF when COVID-19 was declared as a pandemic. At present, the IAF is inducting a total of 7 ARPITS.
Only indigenous materials have been used to fabricate this pod and it has been developed at a cost of Rs 60,000. This is much less compared to the imported systems costing up to Rs 60 lakh.
"The system has been developed as a lightweight isolation pod 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," said a Ministry Of Defence press release.
The system also provides a suitable number of air exchanges, integration of medical monitoring instruments, and ventilation to an intubated patient.
It also generates high constant negative pressure in the isolation chamber for prevention of infection risk to aircrew, ground crew and health care workers involved in air transportation.
"The design integrates life support and monitoring instruments (defibrillator with multipara monitor, pulse oximeter, Infusion pumps etc), long arm gloves for use by health care professionals and power pack with high endurance," the release said.
Design requirements have been evolved and are based on the guidelines issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH) and Centre for Disease Control (CDC), USA.