It started with a photo. Paradise Valley Hospital CEO Neerav Jadeja brought a photo to Plant Services Director Alan Weber of a device used over patient beds to isolate patients and help protect healthcare staff from droplet-borne infections, such as COVID-19. Jadeja found the photo online posted by another hospital. “It’s a simple idea: a series of curved PVC tubes placed over a patient bed that act as a frame to hold clear plastic sheeting over the patient,” said Alan Weber. “This way, a patient can be effectively isolated as they are being wheeled in their bed from one location to another. The disposable plastic sheeting prevents any contaminated fluids from escaping.” Weber went on to explain that the materials used to build the Isolation Transport Cover are all affordable and available at any hardware store. “It’s made of PVC tubing, PVC T-connectors, plastic sheeting that you would use when house painting, and a PVC heating blanket to heat and soften the tubing so they could be molded. A single unit can be fabricated for under $200.”
The Transport Isolation Cover is an added layer of protection for the healthcare workers, staff, and other patients that may be around an infectious patient. It’s not meant to replace personal protective equipment (PPE), but as a complement to properly worn PPE. And it’s only meant to cover patients as they are being transported through a general area.
Paradise Valley Hospital (PVH) has already made two of these units and is starting to make more to fit smaller-sized gurneys. “When I showed Alan the photo of the Cover, I was confident that his staff would be able to replicate it,” said Neerav Jadeja. “We’ve even offered to make units for other hospitals,” Jadeja said that he is very proud of the resourcefulness of PVH staff. “This is the essence of teamwork: when one section of our hospital has a need, other sections step up to the plate and provide answers.” The Transport Isolation Cover was developed in the same way that an earlier project came to be, the Intubation Box. The Box is a plexiglass shield that is placed over the head and torso of a patient on a bed. It has arm-holes to allow a physician to reach in and intubate a patient as it effectively shields the physician and nearby staff from fluid splatter. After each use, the Box is cleaned and readied to be used again. “Alan’s team built the Intubation Box, just as they did the Transport Cover,” said Neerav. “Necessity is the best catalyst for creative solutions, and we have the most creative, resourceful employees here at Paradise Valley.”