UGM RSA launches swab sampling chamber

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GAMA Sampling Chamber for swab test. (Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO, Yogyakarta – Director of the UGM Academic Hospital (RSA), Dr. Arief Budiyanto, PhD, has launched the GAMA Swab Sampling Chamber, for taking swab tests for those suspected of being exposed to SARS-CoV-2. He is grateful to be able to own and launch a swab chamber, which will hopefully fulfill a growing need for Covid-19 diagnoses. 

“The Government stated that we still lack Covid-19 diagnosis capacity. As an illustration in Yogyakarta, one month ago, there was only one PCR, Polymerase Chain Reaction, or swab test according to the standards related to Covid-19,” he said at UGM RSA on Monday (4/27/2020). 

With the concept of a drive-thru and mobile services, the GAMA Swab Sampling Chamber will hopefully be able to streamline time and place, as well as minimize the hospital’s red zone over the distribution of Covid-19. Patients undergoing swab sampling have previously undergone an examination with a doctor and are then classified as ODP (People in Care)/PDP (Patients in Care) and People without Symptoms (OTG). 

“Many people did not have a chance to get this facility in the past because of limited tools. Hence, some people had to queue up. Now with this tool, we can improve the capacity of swab checks, especially for PDP, outpatient ODP, and OTG. Even though there were more people tested, we hope that many people will have a negative test result,” he added. 

Arief said that many hospitals serving Covid-19 currently faced the same problem, which is nothing but the lack of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). Therefore, RSA and Pandawa Teams initiated to raise funds for Covid-19, including PPE donations. 

Unfortunately, these stocks continue to be insufficient, while many parties do not yet know when the Covid-19 pandemic will end. Hence, the production of the Swab Chamber hopefully will economize on the use of PPE, especially for doing sampling. 

“Before there was a swab chamber, swab sampling officers were required to use level three PPE, so now it is no longer enough to use low-level PPE. Therefore, we are grateful to FMIPA, Vocational School, and FKKMK UGM. They have collaborated to develop this innovative tool, providing comfort and security without reducing the safety of both officers and patients. This situation is UGM’s contribution to the Covid-19 effort,” he said. 

Head of the GAMA Swab Sampling Chamber Research Team, Dr. R. Sumiharto, S.Si, M.Kom., stated that the idea of making this tool was based on the condition of the officers when they were going to take swab samples that were required to use multiple PPE. Refer to this condition; there was an idea on how to make a swab inspection system that is safer and more comfortable. 

“I am from the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Instrumentation Electronics knows something like this, then there is the Vocational School and FKKMK team, so we make a chamber with the design of the officer inside and the patient is also safe and comfortable outside,” he explained. 

Although it has been officially launched and used, Sumiharto promised to continue to make improvements to this tool based on the evaluation. He hopes that there will be inputs so that this swab chamber can become a reliable tool. 

“Thanks to the RSA team, they allowed us to develop this tool. There were only two chambers produced, one unit for UGM RSA and another for Panembahan Senopati Hospital,” he said. 

Sumiharto claimed to produce a swab chamber cost 25 million Rupiah by taking ten days to put together. According to him, making the chamber can be shortened if all the necessary materials are available. 

Dr. Dr. Hera Nirwati, M. Kes, Sp.MK added that currently, the Indonesian nation is facing a Covid-19 pandemic, one aspect of which is needed diagnoses, and the recommended diagnosis is the detection of SARS-CoV-2. This detection carried out by taking samples in the form of swabs taken from the nasopharynx and oropharynx. 

“Because the new Coronavirus is transmitted through droplets, sampling must be done cautiously so that the virus is not sprayed everywhere. Then ideally, the sample is taken in a negative pressure room, and the officer uses complete personal protective equipment,” she said. 

Amid the scarcity of PPE and the limited space of negative pressure isolation, both in hospitals and Covid-19 examination laboratory tests, innovation is needed so that they can continue to carry out swab tests without reducing the risk of possible exposure to the virus. Therefore, based on the experience of what happened in Wuhan China and Korea, this GAMA swab chamber was made. 

The GAMA Swab chamber was designed with the sampling officer inside and the patient outside. Because the officers are inside of the chamber, the chamber is completed with a positive pressure room to protect them. 

“With this positive pressure, if outside there is a droplet or contaminant from the patient, the sampling officer will remain protected so that the officer no longer needs to use level three PPE so that according to the concept, this tool can make PPE unnecessary,” Sumiharto explained. 

This tool uses a hepa filter that is air entering through the hepa filter with the ability to filter 0.3 micros with 99 percent efficiency. Under these conditions, the sampling officer will still be protected from the air from outside. 

As for the patient, disinfectants are prepared with drainage so that when one patient continues with the next patient, there will be disinfection so that they will be safe. The chamber is made of durable enough material, namely stainless steel aluminum frame, 0.5 cm, or five-millimeter acrylic wall, so it is strong enough, and the tool is weather-resistant because it can be inside or outside the room. 

“Indeed, the GAMA Swab chamber is designed for mobile, and there are wheels that make it easy to move around; use it as needed. Inside the air, a cooler is also provided for the convenience of officers, while for communication with patients outside the audio is provided, communication is expected to be smooth, with adequate lighting,” he added. (*/est)