The neurophysiology department at Houston Methodist Hospital in Texas recently developed a unique solution to prevent equipment contamination when performing EEGs on patients with COVID-19: a custom-made plexiglass containment box.
“This idea came as a result of our trials and errors in finding ways to protect our NATUS equipment and our patients from spreading airborne and droplet infections,” Amy Reynolds, manager and neurophysiology chair at Houston Methodist, said in a recent interview.
While the outside of the computer used during EEG monitoring can be wiped down, the vents, cables, Wi-Fi bridge, and other integrated equipment are difficult to disinfect.
The “Bedside Monitor Containment Box” encloses the computer hardware on the bottom of specially designed NATUS mobile carts. The box is made of plexiglass with aluminum and stainless steel reinforcements.
Reynolds and lead EEG technologist Robin Chong collaborated on the containment box with the hospital’s maintenance department. It was tested for temperature stability and approved for use in COVID-19 isolation rooms by both the hospital’s IT and infection control departments.
The computers turn on immediately when plugged in, to avoid having to open the containment box and expose computer components to contaminants, Reynolds said.
So far, the team has been pleased with its performance.
“The staff have been very excited to have it,” Chong said. “It’s cut down on the amount of time needed to clean a cart, and it has protected the equipment from numerous splashes, splatters, dust and other materials.”
In addition, Reynolds added, since implementing the boxes, “we have not had any of the equipment hardware failures we had previously seen during our normal use on the floors.”
In the spirit of collaboration, Reynolds and her team at Houston Medical have made the containment box plans publicly available on their website.
Houston Methodist is hosting their first-ever virtual symposium on Intraoperative Neuromonitoring on Nov. 13, 2020. The course will explore how surgeons, neurophysiologists, technologists, anesthesiologists and nurses play a vital role in protecting patients with neuromonitoring. You can register here.
Special thanks to Amy Reynolds, MBA, Manager, Neurophysiology Chair, Neurophysiology System Council Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.