Dr McGain, who is also an honorary with the University of Melbourne, collaborated with his colleague Professor Jason Monty, Head of Mechanical Engineering at the Melbourne School of Engineering, who specialises in fluid mechanics.

Working with the knowledge that COVID-19 is carried via droplets expelled by infected patients, the pair devised a ventilation hood, which was then developed by Prof Monty’s engineering team and trialled in Western Health’s ICUs at Footscray and Sunshine hospitals—during the peak of Victoria’s second wave.

The transparent, movable personal ventilation hood—named McMonty, after its creators—sucks air away from the patient while also creating an effective droplet containment barrier. The device is also large enough to accommodate other medical equipment that might be attached to the patient.
Prof Monty explains: “The hood helps to confine bigger droplets to a known area around the patient while smaller droplets are sucked away through an attached ventilation system and
filtered out through a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.”

“The hood allows healthcare workers to interact with their patients and get a visual sense of their condition through the clear plastic, but with a reduced risk of infection,” Dr McGain said.