A Maryland doctor is doing his part to keep medical personnel safely working amid the coronavirus pandemic as cases surge across the country. The Z-Box was designed as a new type of personal protective equipment to protect doctors and medical staff who are intubating coronavirus patients.Retired emergency room physician Dr. Jay Zwally made the Z-Box after his colleagues saw a picture of a similar box that was being used in Asia, but it had limitations. “When patients are placed on a ventilator, they need to have a tube placed in their airway. That exposes health care workers to a large bolus of the virus that’s considered very dangerous,” Zwally said.The box provides a barrier around the patient during the procedure to keep droplets and aerosols from going everywhere. Zwally has been an emergency physician for 25 years and has performed hundreds of intubations.”This box, because it’s large enough, it can accommodate obese patients. It can be placed on the patient as soon as they come in, and then all the procedures that need to be done can be done with the box on, and then left there for a period of time until things calm down,” Zwally said.The Z-Box keeps the virus contained at least until the patient gets to the ICU. So far, Doctors Community Hospital in Lanham, Maryland, is the only hospital using it. Dr. Amber Marshall, the hospital’s assistant director of the emergency department, said the Z-Box has been extremely helpful.”It has helped to decrease the anxiety anticipated when it comes to intubating and doing high-risk procedures,” Marshall said. Such procedures increase the risk of health care workers getting the coronavirus.”It’s sort of an extra barrier of protection, so it has created a safer environment for both myself and as well as other staff members involved in some of the high-risk procedures,” Marshall said.Zwally said he hopes others around the country catch on to what they are doing in Maryland.”There are many, many health care workers that are being exposed right now. There are shortages of PPE. Not every provider has, when this procedure is done, (what) the doctor usually has on, which is what’s called PAPR (Powered Air Purifying Respirator), which is like a spacesuit to protect them, but (for) the respiratory therapists (and) the other staff, there’s usually not enough of those PAPRs to go around, so they are more exposed,” he said.The Z-Box costs $500, and Zwally is already working on improving the design.

A Maryland doctor is doing his part to keep medical personnel safely working amid the coronavirus pandemic as cases surge across the country.

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The Z-Box was designed as a new type of personal protective equipment to protect doctors and medical staff who are intubating coronavirus patients.

Retired emergency room physician Dr. Jay Zwally made the Z-Box after his colleagues saw a picture of a similar box that was being used in Asia, but it had limitations.

“When patients are placed on a ventilator, they need to have a tube placed in their airway. That exposes health care workers to a large bolus of the virus that’s considered very dangerous,” Zwally said.

The box provides a barrier around the patient during the procedure to keep droplets and aerosols from going everywhere. Zwally has been an emergency physician for 25 years and has performed hundreds of intubations.

“This box, because it’s large enough, it can accommodate obese patients. It can be placed on the patient as soon as they come in, and then all the procedures that need to be done can be done with the box on, and then left there for a period of time until things calm down,” Zwally said.

The Z-Box keeps the virus contained at least until the patient gets to the ICU. So far, Doctors Community Hospital in Lanham, Maryland, is the only hospital using it. Dr. Amber Marshall, the hospital’s assistant director of the emergency department, said the Z-Box has been extremely helpful.

“It has helped to decrease the anxiety anticipated when it comes to intubating and doing high-risk procedures,” Marshall said.

Such procedures increase the risk of health care workers getting the coronavirus.

“It’s sort of an extra barrier of protection, so it has created a safer environment for both myself and as well as other staff members involved in some of the high-risk procedures,” Marshall said.

Zwally said he hopes others around the country catch on to what they are doing in Maryland.

“There are many, many health care workers that are being exposed right now. There are shortages of PPE. Not every provider has, when this procedure is done, (what) the doctor usually has on, which is what’s called PAPR (Powered Air Purifying Respirator), which is like a spacesuit to protect them, but (for) the respiratory therapists (and) the other staff, there’s usually not enough of those PAPRs to go around, so they are more exposed,” he said.

The Z-Box costs $500, and Zwally is already working on improving the design.

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