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Intubation tube keeping medical personnel safe

Published: Aug. 24, 2020 at 11:10 AM EDT
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The sickest COVID patients sometimes need to rely on mechanical ventilation to breathe. For those on the hospital frontlines, intubating a patient can be risky. One hospital has designed a way to put COVID patients in a protective “bubble” during these procedures.

Emergency care workers are often covered from head to toe in personal protective equipment, masks and gloves. At the Cleveland Clinic, those caring for COVID patients now have one more piece of safety gear at their disposal, intubation cubes.

“We came up with the measurements, and then we made some drawings using just a pencil. Then we talked to our clinical engineer department here at Cleveland Clinic they were very supportive, and we made our first prototype,” explained Bassel Akbik, MD, Critical Care at Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital.

The cubes are portable and are designed to cover a patient during intubation. They’re made from a clear material allowing doctors to easily visualize the patient while inserting a breathing tube, and still be protected.

“Then they could work with hands under the drape and manipulate the airway as much as they needed to and if the patient did cough or sputter or anything like that. It would aerosolize, but just go on the inside of the drape,” illustrated Daniel Napierkowski, MD, President of Cleveland Clinic Marymount Hospital.

Another layer of protection for those on COVID’s frontlines.

Here’s something to think about: for patients’ with COVID-19 and other patients requiring isolation, caregivers use an average of sixty-six pieces of personal protective equipment each day. The intubation cubes are another tool in their arsenal.

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