A novel medical apparatus for the containment and evaluation of a pediatric patient under suspicion for highly communicable infectious disease





pediatrics, COVID-19, emergency department, infectious disease, personal protective equipment (PPE)


Background: Highly communicable infectious diseases (HCIDs) such as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and Ebola are a containment challenge for the emergency department (ED). Donning and doffing personal protective equipment is necessary to protect healthcare workers but is time consuming and rife with errors. Furthermore, children present an additional containment challenge since they are often unable to follow directions or be separated from family members. To address these challenges, a novel child-friendly medical apparatus was developed for the rapid containment and evaluation of a HCID patient in the ED.

Objectives: The primary objective was to determine if routine emergency triage procedures (vital signs and basic physical examination) can be performed using this medical apparatus. The secondary objective was to determine if invasive procedures (bagvalve-mask ventilation and endotracheal intubation) can be performed.

Design: This was a prospective pilot study. A clear acrylic apparatus was built containing arm ports with gloves, simulating a specialized HCID barrier. Emergency physicians attempted routine triage procedures on a healthy volunteer and invasive procedures using a simulation mannequin through this apparatus.

Results: Twenty-four physicians were enrolled. All physicians (100 percent) successfully obtained vital signs, auscultated heart/lung sounds, completed bag-valve-mask ventilation, and performed intubation through the apparatus.

Conclusions: This novel apparatus is a feasible tool in the rapid evaluation of a HCID patient in the ED. A future study is needed to assess protection and training using this apparatus.

Author Biographies

Lori Pandya, MD

Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas

Geoffrey Lowe, MD

Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas

Vincent J. Wang, MD, MHA

Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas


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How to Cite

Pandya, L., G. Lowe, and V. J. Wang. “A Novel Medical Apparatus for the Containment and Evaluation of a Pediatric Patient under Suspicion for Highly Communicable Infectious Disease”. American Journal of Disaster Medicine, vol. 17, no. 4, July 2023, pp. 321-6, doi:10.5055/ajdm.2022.0447.



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