SLAKE Spotlight on Dr. Vishaka Kerner

Dr. Vishaka Kerner, MBBS, MD is an anesthesiologist who returned to Sri Lanka after completing her medical training abroad. She and her team in Sri Lanka have been developing innovations such as a throat swab sample collection booth and aerosol box for intubation to help improve care of COVID-19 patients and protect the health care workforce in Sri Lanka. 

One of Dr. Kerner’s team’s exemplary endeavors is designing a low-cost negative pressure isolation pod that can be developed and used efficiently in Sri Lanka. The multi-disciplinary team is combining electrical engineering expertise with in-depth medical knowledge in order to create an airflow system that safely encapsulates a patient and prevents the COVID-19 virus from escaping the system. By better containing the virus particles a patient may shed, this design will help decrease health care workers exposure to the virus and increase their own safety as they care for the ill. After necessary safety testing and obtaining appropriate approvals, the team aims to produce these isolation pods within Sri Lanka and deliver them to medical institutions across the island to better protect the country’s health care workforce from COVID-19. 

In addition to these projects, Dr. Kerner has been involved in a number of scholarly initiatives in the medical field. Recently in 2019, her anesthesia intubation related work “Continuous capnography during AFOI for uninterrupted confirmation of endotracheal tube position” was presented as a scientific poster at the 2nd World Airway Management Meeting in Amsterdam. She also first-authored the publication “Novel technique for uninterrupted confirmation of endotracheal tube position for awake fiberoptic intubation,” further documenting her contributions to the anesthesia field. Her other publications include a case report entitled “Complete resolution of extensive thrombosis of atheromatous non-anuerysmal descending aorta and pulmonary embolism with warfarin therapy.”

SLAKE would like to extend our gratitude to Dr. Kerner and her colleagues for their commitment to combating COVID-19 and their innovative contributions to the medical field. Dr. Kerner is an esteemed women in STEM-M from Sri Lanka and her professional path is surely an inspiration to many budding medical professionals.

If you are interested in connecting with Dr. Kerner to learn more about her professional work please complete the SLAKE Connection Request form.