Infrared Thermometers – Why they are crucial in times of COVID-19

Amid the rising cases of Coronavirus in the country, we all are adopting various measures to keep ourselves safe and sound like maintaining social distancing, quarantined at our homes, keeping ourselves and the surrounding clean, etc. Amongst all this, there are various essential products and equipment required to protect ourselves from the virus. These may include ventilators, masks, sanitizers, PPE kits, etc. One such essential medical equipment helping us battle this pandemic is Infrared thermometer. In recent times, Infrared thermometers have proven to be one of the most in demand medical devices.

 

What is Infrared Thermometer?

We all are aware that the most powerful medium or say the reason for the spread of the COVID-19 virus is direct human-to-human contact.

Infrared thermometers are non-contact thermometers that help you measure the temperature from the forehead without coming in contact with the skin. As cases of COVID-19 are constantly on the rise, infrared thermometers are fast becoming the most commonly used medical device. It is helpful in fast and accurate measurement of the body temperature.

 

Rise of Infrared Thermometer During COVID-19

There are many symptoms of COVID-19 like shortness of breath, dry cough, etc. Another important symptom is fever (high body temperature). In an effort to contain any possible risk of infection, infrared thermometers are a good way to detect the body temperature. It measures the temperature through the forehead from a distance in seconds. While using the Infrared thermometer you don’t need to have physical contact with the person you are testing. This helps in avoiding the risk of getting infected.

Due to its quick measurement and high level of accuracy, the demand of the Infrared thermometer is increasing every passing day. The number of coronavirus cases is increasing rapidly and with fever being a key symptom, it’s important to have a temperature check of the people at every possible place where there’s a huge gathering.

Increasing cases of infected people in India is also a major factor driving the demand in the market. Business Wire reported that an “increasing prevalence of contagious and chronic diseases is expected to be one of the major factors driving the growth of the market.

Infrared thermometers prove to be an efficient device for accurate and frequent body temperature measurement. Factors such as these are likely to drive the demand for infrared thermometers.”

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What Areas Is It Being Used?

While battling this pandemic, we clearly know that we ourselves are the carriers of this disease while being totally unaware of it. By the time we will come to know, it may be too late as the virus would have done its work.

We can’t eliminate the risk of the spread of the virus but we still can reduce the risk. For this the country is taking every possible step, one such step is temperature screening as fever is one of the major symptoms.

Some of the places where the infrared thermometer is being commonly used are:

HOSPITAL: Hospital acquired infections are on the rise as infected patients are being brought in for treatment. There are several people visiting the hospitals and it is not possible to test each patient for COVID.

So the healthcare professionals are using Infrared thermometer to get first hand info of the suspected COVID-19 symptom.

Airports: Airport is a place where people are coming from various national and international boundaries. There are chances of people carrying the infection. If they have some possible symptoms, it can be detected through an IR thermometer.

Homes: Trying to be confined to our home, we still have to go out to buy the essentials for daily needs. Even after being fully protected, there are chances you may get infected or bring viruses to your homes. In case of any feelings of a symptom, use an infrared thermometer to monitor the body temperature.

Some other places it can or is being used are offices, malls, and other places where people are visiting frequently.

 

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Mercury Thermometer vs Digital Thermometer vs Infrared Thermometer

Mercury Thermometer: Mercury thermometers have mercury inside the glass to measure the body temperature. It was once the most widely used thermometer, but now mercury thermometers are no longer recommended because they can break and have toxic mercury to escape.

Digital Thermometer: Regular digital thermometers use electronic heat sensors to record body temperature. These were very very popular pre-COVID. The thermometer is used in the mouth or armpit to measure the temperature. But this requires direct contact which can lead to further spread of the virus. Due to this, they are not as frequently used.

Infrared Thermometer: These were in the market for a while, but there was less awareness around this product. Its demand suddenly boomed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The advantage of using an infrared thermometer over a general thermometer is its ‘no-contact’ process. It ensures that no infection is passed on through contact, as physical contact is the main reason for Coronavirus spread.

 

Types of Infrared Thermometer

For easier and faster use, an infrared thermometer is the best. But it also comes in different types depending on use and function. The main two types of non-contact thermometers are tympanic thermometers and non-contact infrared thermometers.

Tympanic(Ear-mode) Thermometer: An ear-mode infrared thermometer that facilitates temperature acquisition from the ear drum. It measures the thermal radiation from the tympanic membrane and within the ear canal and gives results in seconds.

Features:

  • Enables the quick detection of body temperature from eardrum
  • Acquires temperature readings within 0.5 second

Use: Infrared tympanic membrane thermometers have an advantage. The tympanic membrane and the hypothalamus share an arterial blood supply originating from the carotid artery; therefore, the tympanic membrane is considered to directly reflect core temperature.

 

Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer: It measures the temperature from the forehead and displays it on a back screen.

Features:

  • Can be measured from 15 cm distance
  • Measures the temperature within 0.5 seconds
  • Capable of storing up to 20 sets of measurement data

Use: The advantage of a non-contact infrared thermometer over a tympanic thermometer is that it can be used more conveniently to measure the forehead temperature from a good distance.

 

How To Use an IR Thermometer

Using an infrared thermometer is quite easy, all you need to do is follow these 3 simple steps

1-    Turn on the device

2-    Point out the thermometer towards the target body.

3-    Read the temperature reflected on the back screen of the thermometer within seconds.

 

According to the Mayo Clinic, these thermometers use an infrared scanner to measure the temperature of the temporal artery in the forehead.

A report published by the National Center for Biotechnological Information states that the normal temperature range on the forehead is approximately between 31.0 degrees C to 35.6 degrees C.  Forehead temperature in excess of 35.6 degrees C is suggestive of fever.

To buy Bpl Accudigit F2 Non Contact Infrared Thermometer, click here:  https://amzn.to/2AVBH2r The delivery may depending upon the permissions of the shipping area.

Ventilators: Life Savers in Times of COVID-19

A Ventilator is the most widely used short-term life support technique. It has been proven to be the defining intervention of intensive care medicine. The outbreak of COVID-19 has led to huge demand for ventilators, as infected patients especially those who suffer acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) are in a dire need of this life support system to aid their respiratory functions.

Importance of ventilator in times of COVID-19

Mild forms of COVID-19 cause symptoms of breathing problems, which can be supported by non-invasive methods. But in severe cases, the disease damages the lungs leading to pneumonia, where the patients suffer from high fever and breathing difficulties. In such cases, mechanical ventilators are often used. They assist the patient’s breathing by pumping oxygen into the lungs and expelling carbon dioxide.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, there has been an acute shortage of many medical essentials such as hand sanitizers, face masks, etc. The need and importance of the ventilators have also suddenly amplified. If the proper timely assistance is not provided, patients have a higher risk of mortality.

 

Shortage of ventilators- what India is doing

India has been confined to complete lockdown to control the further spread of the disease. In the face of this pandemic, the sudden increased requirement of essentials like face masks, hand sanitizers, and ventilators has caused a worldwide shortage. To help increase production, many Indian companies have come together to help.

Amongst the many sectors contributing to the cause, Indian Railways has stepped up tremendously, from turning coaches into quarantine zones and helping to deliver essential products across the country.

The  World Bank also reported on how Women Self Helps Groups (SHG) have stepped up to contribute to this crisis. They are playing a critical role in helping to meet the shortfall of protective equipment like masks, sanitizers, and other PPE.  Over the past couple of weeks, these women have produced more than 1 million cotton masks, helping equip police personnel and health workers, while being able to earn a living.

According to the CDDEP, “the researchers estimated that India has approximately 1.9 million hospital beds, 95 thousand ICU beds, and 48 thousand ventilators. Most of the beds and ventilators in India are concentrated in seven states – Uttar Pradesh (14.8%), Karnataka (13.8%), Maharashtra (12.2%), Tamil Nadu (8.1%), West Bengal (5.9%), Telangana (5.2%) and Kerala (5.2%)”.

In times of need, India has always succeeded in making desi-innovations which actually proves to be successful. Indian start-ups are coming up with unconventional systems to meet the needs.

Such innovations help the country and provide much needed boost to face the situation and a hope that we can cope up with the crisis.

 

What is a Ventilator

A ventilator is a medical device used to provide breathing support for ill and critical patients. It is designed to move breathable air into and out of the lungs, to provide breathing for a patient who is physically unable to breathe, or breathing insufficiently. Since COVID-19 virus directly attacks the lungs of the patients, they need an external support system to help them breathe.

 

The function of a ventilator

When it comes to life-saving moments, every second is critical. Ventilators pump air into the lungs and also support the exhalation of carbon dioxide from the lungs; this process is known as ‘ventilation’. Mechanical ventilators are used in situations where the patients require continuous ventilation, i.e. COVID-19 affected patients.

 

According to NHLBI, some other cases where mechanical ventilators are primarily used are:

  • During surgery, when a patient is under Anaesthesia, to provide continuous breathing support
  • Brain injury or Stroke
  • Pneumonia and other advanced lung infection due to COPD or ILD

 

Types of ventilators

There are mainly two broad categories of Ventilators. It further has some subtypes under mechanical ventilators.

1- Bag Valve Mask (BVM)

2- Mechanical Ventilator

Bag valve mask

Due to the current pandemic, ventilators and other respiratory devices are more crucial than ever. Ambu-bags or bag valve masks (BVM), are manual respiratory devices, used to provide pressure ventilation to people who are not breathing or having breathing difficulty. These are typically used in situations where access to a ventilator is difficult, i.e. emergency settings or out of hospital situations. They are also used to provide temporary support to the patients in hospitals where a mechanical ventilator is available. However, it has some shortcomings, including inconsistent delivery, leakage, and gas pressure on the stomach. Overall, these have been proven useful for out of hospital or emergency cases.

Mechanical Ventilator

According to the NCBI, a mechanical ventilator supplies oxygen and removes carbon dioxide from the patient through a breathing tube. Doctors can make the necessary adjustments based on the patient’s needs. The machines mimic the natural breathing process by providing a steady supply of gas at a controllable rate. It’s meant to provide breathing support to patients who are unable to breathe themselves.

Two categories fall under mechanical ventilators: invasive and non-invasive ventilation. Invasive ventilation is where the tube is passed through the mouth, such as an endotracheal tube or the skin with a tracheostomy tube. 

Invasive Ventilators

Invasive Ventilators can be further divided into Intensive Care Ventilators, which are mainly for adults, and Neonatal Ventilators for infants.

Intensive-care ventilators — These ventilators have a full variety of features needed to make a unit appropriate for a broad range of intensive care applications.

Requirement: As per NCBI– “patients ventilated by these devices can range in age from neonates to adults and can vary in condition from very critical, unstable patients to relatively stable postoperative patients. While intensive care ventilators are typically used in critical care areas of the hospital, they may be used in other care areas as well”.

Uses: Used for both adults and pediatrics

 

Neonatal ventilators–  It is designed to deliver more precise volumes and pressures required for the infants.

Requirement: Neonatal intensive care ventilators provide ventilatory assistance to premature and critically ill infants suffering from respiratory failure. The infants who have low-compliance lungs, small tidal volumes, high airway resistance, and high respiratory rates need special support through neonatal ventilators.

Uses: Used for premature infants and children weighing up to 30 kgs

Non-Invasive Ventilators

In the case of non-invasive ventilation (NIV), devices with a nasal or face mask are used. The benefit of an NIV is its reduced need for endotracheal intubation and complications related to it. Non-invasive ventilators like CPAP or BiPAP are used at home by people with chronic respiratory difficulties like COPD. Its functionality is simple and easy to handle for people who don’t have medical training.

 

Ventilator vs Respirator vs Intubation

Ventilators and respirators are generally common terms that are often used interchangeably. Both are used to provide breathing support in required conditions. But in light of the growing pandemic, we’ve detailed the key differences below:

Ventilator: A machine that provides breathing support to critically ill patients, like the ones suffering from coronavirus. A ventilator can’t cure COVID-19 but supports the body as its immune system fights the virus.

Respirator: According to GovTech, a respirator is used to provide protection to people working/ living in areas with germs or infections. Vox states that respirators can be as simple as face masks, which help filter out particulates so people are breathing clean air. These are especially crucial for healthcare workers working in hazardous or contaminated zones during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Intubation: The insertion of a tube into the trachea (windpipe) is called Intubation. Endotracheal intubation permits air to pass freely through the lungs and facilitates the use of a mechanical ventilator.

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