At the time when Covid-19 cases are rapidly rising in India, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has designed, developed and inducted the much needed Airborne Rescue Pod for Isolated Transportation (ARPIT). This pod will be utilised for evacuation of critical patients with infectious diseases including Covid-19 from highaltitude area, isolated and remote places. Requirement of an air evacuation system with facility to prevent spread of infectious aerosol from a Covid-19 patient during air travel was felt by the IAF when Covid-19 was declared as a pandemic. The first prototype was developed at3 BRD AF and has undergone various modifications. ARPIT is important from Aatmanirbhar Bharat point of view where it is seen as supporting the Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiative by the Prime Minister who appealed for indigenous materials solutions. ARPIT has been built by domestic material only. This indigenously designed system has been developed at a cost of Rs 60,000 only, which is very less as compared to the imported systems costing up to Rs Sixty Lakh.
HOW ARPIT WORKS:
The system has been developed as a lightweight isolation system 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. The isolation system caters for suitable number of air exchanges, integration of medical monitoring instruments, and ventilation to an intubated patient. In addition, it 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 ARPIT utilises High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) H-13 class filters and supports invasive ventilation using Transport Ventilator. The design integrates life support and monitoring instruments (defibrillator with multiparamonitor, pulse oximeter, Infusion pumps etc), long arm gloves for use by healthcare professionals and power pack with high endurance.
ARPIT’s 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 & amp; Healthcare Providers (NABH) and Centre for Disease Control (CDC), USA. After testing it in IAF’s multiple platforms like Chinook helicopter, C-130J Hercules transport aircraft & An-32 transport aircraft, the IAF is inducting a total of 7 ARPITS as of now.