Thanks to an Arizona physician, health care professionals across the country could soon be safer as they continue to lead the fight against the novel coronavirus.
Dr. Ben Reeser, an emergency room physician in Phoenix, developed a new piece of medical technology that limits viral exposure between medical workers and their patients.
Based on a design by Dr. Hsien Yung Lai of Taiwan, the device is a fiberglass box meant to be placed around an infectious patient’s head.
Two holes are cut out to allow physicians to tend to their patients and perform intubation without risk of aerosolized exposure.
“Every time we intubate, there’s probably at least four other people in the room,” Reeser told KNXV-TV.
“There is the physician, a nurse, respiratory therapist, and more all exposed during that procedure.”
Resser’s development solves that problem, providing protection for nurses, doctors and any other medical professionals required to work in close proximity to their patients.
Reeser enlisted the help of Matthew Moore and Urban Plough Furniture, a Phoenix-based company, to help with the production of the equipment.
“He said, ‘We have these things that we have to make to save people’s lives,'” Moore told the station.
“That’s all it took for us to get started right away.”
An additional company, Tuft & Needle, has contributed money to produce the devices, KNXV reported.
Thanks to these companies and Reeser’s smart thinking, several boxes have already been shipped to intensive care units in the Phoenix area.
They have placed the design on the website Intubationbox.com so that health care providers across the country can make their own. The site notes that, “We have a very limited ability to fabricate and ship out ready to assemble boxes,” but encourages hospitals in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah to request one.
This isn’t the only recent example of a doctor’s innovation helping combat the coronavirus.
On March 14, Dr. Charlene Babcock, who practices in the Detroit area, released a video showing how one ventilator could be easily modified to provide ventilation for four adults.
This unprecedented global catastrophe caused by the coronavirus has caused the world a fair bit of pain and suffering, with New York the hardest-hit site in the U.S. The high death rate of COVID-19 has proven very difficult for many countries to handle.
Amidst all this panic comes one silver lining, however.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown just how uniquely poised America is to tackle such enormous crises. The stress of combating this epidemic has proven how powerful American determination truly are.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
The objective of ventilation is buying time to treat or simply support the patients own immune response until the patient is again able to breathe spontaneously.
From the limited information about the “design” of this new device enabling multiple patient simultaneous independent ventilation, I do not yet believe the problems have even been addressed let alone conquered.
If all that is “required” is a “machine” to pump an air/oxygen mix to multiple patients without any safety volume/pressure limits, or individual feedback in monitoring, then I would suggest we are heading down a road to disastrously high mortality through simply ignoring medical physics.
It may well seem satisfactory “on paper”, but very few patients lying next to each other in an Intensive Care Unit ( ICU ) have identical Tidal Volumes or blood gases, indeed any of the vital parameters to be addressed for there to be any hope of successful ventilation / respiration ( gas exchange ).
It is very easy to mechanically “Bag an unconsious patient” – but for how long this can enable life giving blood gases to be achieved without monitoring and individual “settings” being enabled – is anyones’ “guess” – and I really mean that – guesswork has little place in an ICU and if that is all that is available via the NHS – then far more body bags will be needed than is currently estimated.
There is a place for breathing assisting devices ( e/g/ CPAP devices which give a slightly increased breathing gas pressure to assist the inspiratory phase – without overly affecting the expiratory phase ) For many patients with breathing difficulties this may be all that is needed to assist them over a difficuly phase – but these are NOT “ventilators” .
Perhaps it is time for the non-medical Press to vacate the ICU’s and leave Intensive Care Reporting to experts ?
I’ve seen the fellow making the splitters needed to allow four people to use a single ventilator and the medical people cited some of the same problems you mentioned. If a possible solution can be developed by a glass blower, then it seems to me that real medical people can, using a bit of creative thought, may be able to overcome these shortcomings. How about placing four beds in the form of a tee, with the heads of the beds touching each other. Place the ventilator in the space between the beds. Select people with the same needs for the technical pressures, volumes and etc.) and put them in the four beds. It may not be the most desirable solution to the problem, but doctors are insisting that the lack of ventilators can lead to the death of the patient-so, pick your poison.