UMMC uses first Malaysian-made ISOPOD to transport highly contagious Covid-19 patients

PETALING JAYA: University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) has become the first hospital to use a Malaysian-made Portable Negative Pressure Isolation Carrier (ISOPOD) which can be used to transport highly contagious Covid-19 patients in ambulances.

The ‘MyISOPOD’ – named in conjunction with Malaysia Day – is used to provide a greater degree of protection to medical staff involved in the transportation of patients inflicted with infectious diseases, including Covid-19.

The ISOPOD is a collaborative effort between UMMC and Malaysian-owned Puncak Bumi Utama Sdn Bhd, a medical device manufacturer which specialises in the design and fabrication of ISOPODs, medical health care beds, peripherals and accessories for usage in hospitals.

Puncak Bumi Utama chairman Datuk Zakaria Husain said UMMC is currently using three units of the company’s ISOPODs designed to be lightweight, easily assembled and sanitised both by chemical and UVC light, as well as being mobile and easily stored.

“We are the first company in Malaysia to produce the ISOPOD, and with the existence of unusual diseases, I think, this ISOPOD is very beneficial to use. It has been built by local staff with full of dedication, so I’m confident (of its capabilities),“ he said after the handover ceremony at UMMC, here today.

Meanwhile, Puncak Bumi Utama chief executive officer Ahmad Kamal Chik said that as the nation moves into the endemic phase, the use of the ISOPOD for transportation of Covid-19 suspected cases in public areas such as shopping malls, factories and Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) stations has made the product more relevant.

“Currently, when someone falls or is in a dangerous situation, no one dares to hold them or do something, so the ISOPOD can help solve the problem.

“With this, only one person may be contaminated, namely the one who lifts the patient. Even then, if the person is of medical background, he or she will be wearing PPE (personal protective equipment). If the patient can walk, they may be directed to walk into the ISOPOD themselves, after which it can be zipped up,” he said.

According to him, the company has been working on research and development with biomedical engineering officers and ICU staff since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“At that time, we had to use raw materials to produce this ISOPOD to ensure that UMMC and the Malaysian government had the tools or transporters to solve the problem of carrying infected patients,“ he said.

He said, apart from the high vaccination rate and the efforts of the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH) to promote compliance with physical distancing and the wearing of face masks, other methods were also required to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

Meanwhile, UMMC Clinical deputy director (surgical) Prof Dr Mohd Zulkiflee Abu Bakar thanked Puncak Bumi Utama for the contribution.

“With this locally made ISOPOD, we no longer need to import from foreign countries such as the United States or the United Kingdom. It is not only more affordable, but also flexible in terms of its use, where a ventilator and several other devices can fit together with the patient inside it.

“The innovation and creativity by local designers allow the ISOPODs to be taken anywhere. It is easily folded and stored in a special bag,“ he said, adding it would greatly help in preventing the spread of airborne diseases while transferring patients to other hospitals. — Bernama

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