In early August, engineers of the Garage Hub, Kharkiv open workshop, planned production of 150 protective helmets for Ukrainian doctors. The first 30 means of protection called PAPR (Powered Air Purifying Respirator) have already been delivered to healthcare facilities. Doctors wear them in intensive care units while working with COVID patients.
According to the Garage Hub maker Roman Vedro, the idea of PAPR production arose in February. The first prototype was made from a garbage bag and a computer fan.
Inventors developed helmets to provide doctors with decent and affordable protection. PAPR is assembled from handmade parts. There were 10 versions of a hood and filtration. Since spring, a separate group has been testing the quality of filtration so that not a single virus particle reaches the doctor’s lungs.
The breathing helmet was tested with the help of a computer and Helga, a mannequin, which is able to breathe and work even under a smokescreen.
PAPRs’ production was supervised by doctors. Test versions have been available in medical institutions for several months.
While wearing PAPR, a person can run and recite poetry loudly. There is enough oxygen and power for 8 – 12 hours of continuous operation. Larysa Markush, the head of the intensive care unit of the Kharkiv Regional Clinical Infectious Diseases Hospital, noted that the better the protection, the easier it is to work.
Funds for production of helmets were raised through private donations, a charity auction, which was joined by Ukrainian writers Serhiy Zhadan and Andrii Kurkov, Aza Nizi Maza art studio, publisher Oleksander Savchuk and many others. Another 102,000 UAH (approximately $3,730) was allocated by Vidrodzhennya international fund. So, instead of the 132 helmets announced at the beginning, makers managed to produce 150 items.
Over the next month, doctors from Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, Severodonetsk, Kyiv, Chernivtsi, Poltava, Trostyanets and Sumy region will receive another 120 helmets.
Text: Natalia Ivanova