B'luru first to have facility to isolate Ebola-like samples

B'luru first to have facility to isolate Ebola-like samples

B'luru first to have facility to isolate Ebola-like samples
Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases (RGICD) has moved one step closer to becoming a fully equipped quarantine centre.

A Flexible Film Isolator has been installed in the hospital to help isolate samples of diseases like Ebola. Bengaluru will be the first city in India to have one such a facility, according to RGICD director Dr Shashidhar Buggi. Doctors describe the isolator as a small lab within another.

The Flexible Film Isolator, a portable set-up which looks like an enclosure, has enough space for a lab technician or paramedic staff to work on the sample. The UK Department for International Development provided Rs 50 lakh for the project through the Tropical Health and Education Trust, London.

Samples would be passed through the isolator through a small opening which is sealed with small shutters on either end. The laboratory sample, which is enclosed in a sealed capsule, is passed into the isolator on which the clinician or technician can later perform tests to check for pathogens.

Demonstrating its functions, Dr Suzana Hawkey, trainer, PHE said that even the air in the isolator would be purified before being let outside. “This is fitted with fans which draw out the air after and purify it. This also prevents the technicians from getting in direct contact with the samples and ensures that there is no threat to them in case of a sample spill,” she added.

Dr Jane Shallcross, another senior trainer said that with Bengaluru housing an International airport, having a facility to quarantine patients was required. “Bengaluru is the first place in the country where we are offering the facility and medical professionals on using it. Next will be in Pondicherry,” she added. Meanwhile, Dr Buggi said that it was not just Ebola but samples of any highly infectious disease could be tested in the isolator to prevent risks.
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