Doctors at Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town have started using modified snorkel masks to protect themselves when dealing with patients who have tested positive for COVID-19.
“They have been modified with the addition of a breathing filter where the snorkel would usually be,” the hospital said. “Using these full-face modified snorkel masks, the doctors are now completely protected from breathing in the COVID-19 virus whilst performing highly contagious airway procedures.”
The idea originated in Europe, where engineers changed the snorkels into medical masks after hospitals ran out personal protective equipment at the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Tygerberg Hospital neonatologist and paediatrician Dr Lizelle van Wyk, who is an avid diver, approached colleagues Dr Jack Meintjies and Professor Pierre Goussard to modify and approve this mask.
“The modified snorkel masks are now routinely used by the paediatricians for intubation and bronchoscopy in children suspected of being COVID-19 positive,” the hospital said.
– Additional reporting by SAnews.gov.za