San Bernardino County Doctor Invents Patient Isolation Transport Unit

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– Dr. Mark Comunale, head of anesthesiology at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, is seeking FDA approval for a device he invented that will help medical workers easily transport infectious patients while minimizing their own risk of being exposed to a disease.

The device, called the Patient Isolation Transport Unit, creates a negative-pressure mobile chamber around an infected patient’s stretcher or hospital bed, allowing the patient to be easily moved around the hospital without infecting others.

“What we want to do is protect the healthcare personnel from the patients who have something that can be transmitted,” said Dr. Comunale, in an interview with KABC-TV News. “We’ve been able to work very closely with the folks at the FDA to get this hopefully to market in the next week or two.”

Normally, hospitals would need to develop negative pressure rooms that use lower air pressure to allow outside air into the chamber while trapping and holding potentially harmful particles within the room. Instead of retrofitting and taking up an entire room for an infected patient, the Patient Isolation Transport Unit allows a space that can be built around patients themselves.

This device, along with the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), reduces risk for medical workers treating infected patients. It also helps families by providing them a safe way to visit their ill loved ones without the need for complete isolation.

The Patient Isolation Transport Unit is made of medical-grade vinyl, with gloved access for doctors and nurses to use. It contains several motors that remove air contaminants before filtering the air out. Best of all, the chamber offers mobility, enabling patient to be easily transported around the hospital if needed.

After FDA approval, Dr. Comunale believes Fontana-based A&R Tarpaulins will be able to produce up to 600 units a week.

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