BALTIMORE, md. — There are more than 100,000 coronavirus cases in Maryland, millions across the country. Many of those patients are healthcare providers. That's why one Baltimore doctor is working on a device to help keep his colleagues safe. It's called the Care Cove.
"It’s very simple. The cove is placed over the patient to isolate the viral particles, to keep them away from the provider and at the same time allowing optimal care for the patient," said Dr. Steve Tropello. He added how the device has a negative pressure valve to suck out all of those viral particles. The cove is also long enough to tuck under the patient and bed to allow for optimal CPR while not exposing others in the room.
Dr. Tropello is an emergency and critical care physician on the front lines of this Coronavirus pandemic. He explained, "we didn't have testing in March, which made things extremely scary in any event. Now that testing is better, we're focused on these high risk events that happen immediately. So people can’t breath all of a sudden, lose their pulse. I don’t have time to know what your Covid status is so you need something that’s immediately available."
The Care Cove is disposable and light weight. "It easily pops open to be deployed. So you don’t want a device that’s gonna take ten minutes to set up on a patient when they don’t have a pulse this has to be done fast so it deploys quickly," said Dr. Tropello.
This idea was sparked at a time when there were so many unknowns about this virus and there wasn't enough personal protective equipment. "When Covid hit people were coming to me with and saying here use this clear plastic garbage bag to intubate your patients and I just thought it was crazy. I refused to do it," said Dr. Tropello.
So he went to the drawing board with a team he's worked with before creating medical devices. He said, "we put pen to paper. We designed the Care Cove from scratch. Here we are iterating on it." Now they're hoping to get the device out to providers by the end of October.
There are other prototypes out there that work similar to the Care Cove. University of Maryland St. Joseph's Medical Center, where Dr. Tropello works part time, uses an acryclic box.
To learn more about the Care Cove, to invest in the company or even to buy one, click here.