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Houston Methodist Hospital District takes new innovations to combat COVID-19

HOUSTON – Approximately 157 Coronavirus patients are being cared for within the Houston Methodist Hospital System, according to a spokesperson.

Some of those patients are benefitting from the newest medical innovations available, according to Dr. Faisal Masud, Medical Director of the Critical Care Center at Houston Methodist Hospital.

Dr. Masud said he and his team are on the forefront of fighting against the coronavirus and they’ve got a few innovative new devices ensuring the protection of health care professionals, while preserving personal protective equipment.

“Necessity is the mother of invention,” Dr. Masud said. “I’m amazed by the ingenuity of my peers.”

One of their new devices is a clear box that protects health care professionals during one of the riskiest procedures concerning COVID-19 patients: Intubation.

“This is a plexiglass box. You can see everything closely,” Dr. Masud said. “You can put your hand in there, which is obviously covered, and you can put a breathing tube in without getting exposed.”

Dr. Masud said another devise practically eliminating the risk of exposure is their new portable plexiglass wall.

“Think of it like a phone booth,” Dr. Masud said. “(It’s) extra light plexiglass, with side gloves. The nurse of the doctor walks in, does not have to wear N-95 masks. You wheel it in, it’s got sleeves just like an astronaut (suit). You can do all the things, you come out, and you’re covered.”

Perhaps the most beneficial new tools in their arsenal is an oxygen hood. According to Dr. Masud, the hood can serve as an alternative to a ventilator for some patients, freeing up the life-saving machines for those in need of more critical care.

“We can give up to 60 liters of oxygen,” Dr. Masud said. “We can make them more comfortable and we can protect the health care provider by keeping a lot more oxygen contained.”

He said the Houston Methodist Hospital System is rolling out all three devices across their hospitals. Dr. Masud also said they have shared designs and ideas with other hospitals across the country to stop the spread of the virus.