“You hear stories from Europe and China. You tell yourself it is not going to happen here,” said Andy Dunn, chief of staff at the Wyoming Medical Center in Casper, Wyoming. “And then, all of a sudden, it is 2:30 a.m., and you are holding a smartphone to let a husband say goodbye to his wife via FaceTime after 60 years of marriage” .
Dunn was speaking of one of many instances during the coronavirus pandemic where people have had no choice but to allow healthcare workers to facilitate visits with their hospitalized family members through a phone or a computer screen instead of seeing them face to face .
Even though Dunn works in Wyoming, which the Bureau of Health Workforce of the Department of Health and Human Services notes is the best-equipped state in the country, he and other staff members have experienced this dire situation .
Despite hospitals doing their best to try to navigate PPE shortages, provide patient care with limited staff, and figure out ways to convert different areas of the hospital into negative pressure rooms and COVID units, it has been difficult for them to stave off the spread of COVID-19. As such, hospitals and healthcare facilities have to take safety precautions like limiting the number of guests that can visit the hospital or prohibiting any visitors from entering altogether.
As a result, thousands of families across the United States have heartbreaking stories just like the one Dunn mentioned, where they’ve been forced to use technology like FaceTime and Zoom to say goodbye to their loved ones. When these resources are not available, some families have had to grieve their loved ones knowing that they died completely alone.
This is one of the biggest and most devastating crimes against humanity, and yet it is what countless families are going through during this pandemic.
Aside from the inhumanity of having to be alone while they fight against the coronavirus, COVID patients, as well as their family members, experience other hardships when they are not able to see their loved ones face to face.
Visits provide comfort to COVID patients who are facing such a frightening and unnerving situation while also easing the worries of family members who are hoping their loved one is receiving adequate care.
Family visits also provide a morale boost for those trying to overcome COVID, giving them motivation and an extra reason to fight hard to survive and make it back home.
Keeping families together is especially essential for people receiving end of life care. No one wants to be on their own when they face the unknown, and support from healthcare workers or a FaceTime conversation with their spouse is just not the same as having the people they love in the same room with them in these final moments. It is particularly difficult because these patients do not know when they may be experiencing these final moments, and they have no way of guaranteeing that they will get the chance to make a call and say goodbye at all.
Healthcare professionals are working hard and trying their best to make sure that all of the patients in their care are as comfortable and supported as possible, but despite their incredible efforts this just simply isn’t enough. Patients deserve better.
Fortunately, with medical devices like the SCONE™, hospitals can safely provide their COVID patients with the family visits they need and deserve without increasing the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Keeping Families Together Using the SCONE™
Thousands of people have had to say goodbye to their family members through a screen. As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc in the United States, there will be an increase in COVID hospitalizations. Most hospitals will have to do everything possible to mitigate the spread including continuing to close the doors to outside visitors and preventing visitors from seeing those who are suffering from COVID. However, it doesn’t have to be this way.
The SCONE™ creates the opportunity for families to have hospital visits and end of life care visits so that they can raise their loved ones’ spirits and say goodbye to those they hold dear.
How does the SCONE™ make this possible?
The secret is negative pressure technology.
By creating a negative pressure chamber, the SCONE™ prevents infectious particles from spreading from a COVID patient to the non-contaminated air in the patient’s room. This allows visitors to enter the room without fear of breathing in contaminated aerosols and droplets and contracting COVID from their loved ones.
When hospitals use devices like the SCONE™, it allows families to spend time in hospital rooms that they would otherwise not be able to enter due to safety precautions. This way, no one has to suffer from COVID or pass away on their own. They will be able to be surrounded by the people who care about them the most.
The SCONE™ also helps protect healthcare workers, serving as an active barrier that provides additional protection to PPE and reduces the risk for COVID-19. This helps make it safe for healthcare workers to treat COVID patients and interact with hospital visitors and slows the spread of COVID-19.
This single-use, disposable medical device is making it possible for families to stay together for hospital visits and end of life care visits, and it is helping hospitals combat the coronavirus pandemic.
The SCONE™ is authorized by the FDA for Emergency Use and ready to ship nationwide.