The last resort to save COVID-19 patients is putting them on a ventilator.
That process, however, is dangerous for doctors and nurses because the patients spew coronavirus particles into the air. So a Coral Springs company is making the latest must-have piece of personal protective equipment, designed to protect the health care workers during the intubation process.
It’s an acrylic box. It has two holes into which the the doctor’s arms go and it’s placed over the patient’s head. It forms a barrier between COVID-19, doctors and nurses.
Dr. Hila Beckerman told us it’s a life-saving innovation.
”Because their faces are right in there, so being able to intubate within a box is preventing physicians from getting sick, because we have physicians and nurses that are dying on the front lines trying to save these patients, and it shouldn’t be happening, not in America,” Beckerman said.
The ventilator boxes are being used in 13 South Florida hospitals right now.
“So far we’ve done 22 boxes but it’s starting to ramp up quite well now, we’ve been contacted today by six different hospitals and we would like to get as many out there as possible, all over the country,” said Kevin Roth, the CEO of the company making the boxes, Vistamax of Coral Springs.
A pediatrician, Dr. Beckerman has a lot of free time during the pandemic so she volunteers to pick up the boxes and deliver them to hospitals. On Monday, she was picking up six, destined for Jackson Memorial.
“The doctors have been so grateful, they really have been, it’s just the outpouring of emotion has been amazing, to see the community coming together to save each other, it’s amazing, it’s just really touching,” Beckerman said. “For me, helping to save my colleagues is the least I can do.”
Vistamax is doing all of this for free. Roth says they’ve spent abut $6,000 so far making the boxes. Just over the weekend, they came up with a new design which allows them to be packed flat and assembled on site, so they can be easily shipped anywhere.
“Look, we were trying to do our little bit, we are a glass company so there’s not much that we can do, so this is our way of trying to help and there’s a lot of people out there that really need this,” Roth said, adding that he’s humbled by the responses he’s received from doctors who have told him this product is saving their lives.
“They’ve put on hold their own personal business to open this up for everybody, for whoever needs it, they put out a nationwide call,” Beckerman added.
Locally, Dr. Beckerman says we all can help the fight against the pandemic by listening to the experts.
“Please stay home, please help us save lives, please don’t be another person that we have to take care of,” Beckerman said.
You can contribute to the completely non-profit effort at ventboxx.com and help the health care professionals as they help all of us.