Two Phoenix-area doctors believe a simple, clear plastic box could be a key to keeping health care workers safer when they are treating coronavirus patients.
Emergency room doctors, Brandon Lawrence and Benjamin Reeser have been shipping the protective barriers to hospitals all over America.
“We’ve been doing it all on donations … we’re up to almost 450 units that we’ve shipped,” Lawrence said.
The reusable, open-ended acrylic box fits over a patient’s head, Lawrence said, which keeps fluids from reaching hospital workers in the face during certain procedures.
“In Italy … the bulk of the young, otherwise healthy people that were getting sick were health care workers … anyone involved in the ER/ICU setting. They were theorizing this was coming from intubation,” Lawrence said.
Intubation is the insertion of a breathing tube down a patient’s throat to help with breathing.
Other likely infection scenarios for contact were cardiopulmonary resuscitation and respiratory treatments.
Lawrence, who works at Abrazo Arrowhead Hospital in Glendale, said he and Reeser, of Abrazo Central in Phoenix, first saw the box being used by a doctor in Taiwan.
They got in touch with Hsien Yung Lai and he made them a box.
“We just had an idea to make it a big national thing,” Lawrence, who grew up in Scottsdale, said.
The two have had help along the way from Phoenix furniture maker Urban Plough, online mattress company Tuft and Needle and medical-device firm Ortho Spine Partners of Scottsdale.
At least 200 boxes are on order, “but we’re running low on funds to send them out,” Lawrence said.
Their website includes a link to a GoFundMe account. Each box costs about $160 to make and ship.
The Arizona Department of Health Services said Tuesday there were 5,251 positive cases in the state and 208 deaths from COVID-19.
Click here to donate to the Go Fund Me.
Click here to learn more about the protection box.