Hospital's Inexpensive 'Corona Curtain' Could Help Save Lives

Doctors created the tent to cover patients during intubation, when large amounts of the coronavirus can spread.

Hospital's Inexpensive 'Corona Curtain' Could Help Save Lives
Newsy/Dave Franco

This is the corona curtain. It looks like part Hula-Hoop, part plastic wrap. And it’s saving lives. 

Doctors at a hospital in Aurora, Colorado, created the tent to cover patients during intubation, which is dangerous because it's when health care workers are exposed to high amounts of  respiratory droplets that spread COVID-19.   

"The drape will cover the entire patient all the way and then the provider will be able to reach through the drape from the back, obviously while wearing protective gear and the nurse or respiratory therapist will be able to assist from the side," Dr. Philip Stahel, chief medical officer at The Medical Center of Aurora, said. 

The curtain is made from items like copper stands, plumbing tubes and plastic sheeting. Its cost: under 10 bucks. It takes about 60 seconds to set up and has shown a lot of promise in its initial use. 

"We've had dozens of intubation which are emergent intubation for patients whose hearts stand still or who can't breathe. And to our knowledge, there has not been a single exposure to staff or anyone getting sick from these patients who are severely ill and impose a high risk," Stahel said.

The corona curtain could be especially helpful in protecting health care workers in rural areas across the U.S. and elsewhere. 

At the end of April, almost one-third of U.S. counties reported a high prevalence of infections in rural or smaller communities. Rural patients also tend to be older and sicker and more likely to require hospitalization if they get COVID-19