The Fight Against COVID-19
UCI COVID-19 UPDATES & RESOURCES
UCI is closely monitoring the coronavirus (“COVID-19”) situation and associated communications from thecounty,stateand federal authorities. The university continually provides updates through a dedicated UCI COVID-19 website and email communications and takes steps to ensure the health and safety of our community.
UCI Health infectious disease experts are assisting with statewide and national efforts to track the outbreak and contain the spread of COVID-19, or novel coronavirus. UCI Health experts are in regular contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA).
The primary objective at UCI Health is to ensure the safety of patients and employees while delivering world-class care at our hospital and community locations. This includes preventive daily screening of our physicians, staff and other healthcare providers.
To provide helpful advice and informative stories about life during the COVID-19 pandemic, UCI has launched a comprehensive news site to serve Orange County and regional communities. UCI and UCI Heath are uniquely positioned to provide timely information about this crisis. Scholars, scientists and caregivers are working tirelessly to find solutions to the myriad health, technology, lifestyle, economic, political and cultural issues linked to the world’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
When it was widely publicized that hospitals were expected to experience a shortage of ventilators during the COVID-19 pandemic, UCI Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic faculty quickly teamed up with other research universities and industry from across the United States to address this problem.
UCI Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic’s Drs. Brian Wong, biomedical engineer and surgeon, and Tom Milner, acting director of the Institute, formed a Bridge Ventilator Consortium, which includes scientists, engineers, medical professional, business executives and regulatory experts and from organizations like the University of Texas, Virgin Orbit, Medline Industries and more.
The Consortium was first tasked with the design and construction of a “bridge” ventilator. The “bridge ventilator” is an inexpensive, easy-to-manufacture device for use when intensive care units (ICU) are overwhelmed and no standard ICU ventilators are available for patients undergoing respiratory failure.
The development of numerous assisted breathing units and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) have been incubated, critiqued and group-sourced out of the Bridge Ventilator Consortium in an open, voluntary and inclusive forum environment. The Consortium’s outlook is directed toward the development of longer-term diagnostic and treatment strategies – particularly those that utilize light.
SUPPORT COVID-19 RESEARCH
As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, researchers at UCI Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic are at the forefront in solving major pandemic issues. Like the formation of the Bridge Ventilator Consortium, Institute researchers are dedicated to providing their expertise and working collaboratively to help during the COVID-19 crisis.
In addition to the Bridge Ventilator Consortium, UCI Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic researchers are developing novel devices and effective treatments to mitigate the pandemic, including:
- Drs. Elliot Botvinick and Bernard Choi are creating a ventilator that repurposes a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. Potential benefits include the ability of the patient to control his/her own breathing rate with less lung trauma.
- Other researchers are focused on the development of long-term, light-based diagnostic, sterilization and treatment strategies, including therapeutic approaches that use photo-active agents that target COVID-19 in the throat and low-cost diagnostic imaging that can detect micro-clotting in COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patients. Dr. Chris Barty is developing a low-cost UVC light source that can, for example, rapidly and effectively sterilize hospital room air.
Through your gift to COVID-19 research, you support the Institute’s life-saving solutions to combat the deadly symptoms, effects and spread of COVID-19 and future pandemics.