Intubation Boxes Donated to Riverside Help Protect Health Care Workers

Ask Dave Kashy and he’ll tell you all he wanted to do during this pandemic was put his skills and knowledge to use and help protect health care workers.

It’s a cause close to his heart, with a daughter and son-in-law both working in the medical field.

But as a mechanical engineer with Jefferson Lab in Newport News, what could he do?

Turns out, a lot.

Kashy donated his time and talent and worked closely with Riverside to design and construct intubation boxes for health care workers across the health system to help enhance their protection against contracting novel coronavirus COVID-19.

“Placing a patient on a ventilator requires a physician to place a tube into a patient’s windpipe (trachea) down to the lungs,” said Gary Kavit, M.D. of Riverside Emergency Medicine. “This is an extremely risky procedure during this time of a viral pandemic.”

The procedure causes the air in the environment to become contaminated with aerosolized virus particles, Kavit said. The intubation box, which is made of clear polycarbonate panels, gives physicians visibility and access during the procedure while also helping to block the projection of virus particles from the patient.

“Even though we wear high-level personal protective equipment (PPE), during the procedure gross contamination of this equipment increases the risk to medical providers,” Kavit said. “The intubation boxes provide a much-desired additional level of protection against direct spread of droplets onto the provider’s PPE and self.”

Intubation boxes such as the ones Kashy built for Riverside are being distributed all across the country to emergency departments, intensive care units, and operating rooms, Kavit said.

“Dave Kashy’s initiative to collaborate with Riverside to bring an extra level of safety to our staff is profoundly appreciated,” Kavit said. “Riverside is keenly focused on keeping staff, as well as patients, safe during this pandemic.”

For more information about COVID-19 and Riverside Health System’s response, visit riversideonline.com/Coronavirus-COVID-19.cfm.

Published: April 17, 2020