The “vestibule” or “anteroom” just outside the operating room at Abbotsford Regional Hospital creates a negative-pressure space to prevent the virus from spreading to nearby areas when COVID-19 patients are undergoing surgery.

B.C. doctor designs special operating room for COVID-19 patients

Design protects patients from wound infection while preventing virus from spreading to nearby areas

An Abbotsford Regional Hospital (ARH) doctor has designed a special operating room to ensure the safety of COVID-19 surgical patients and health-care workers.

Dr. Curt Smecher, an anesthesiologist at ARH, worked with the hospital’s maintenance engineers to develop the room, which has now been constructed at ARH, as well as at Surrey Memorial and Royal Columbian hospitals.

The actual physical structure of the anterooms was designed, supplied, installed and rented to the hospitals from a Langley-based company called EZEE Hoarding, but Smecher came up with the idea of combining negative-pressure and positive-pressure rooms in adjacent spaces.

Smecher said an operating room is normally a “positive pressure” room, which helps push germs away from the surgical field and helps to protect patients from wound infections.

But positive-pressure rooms can also push aerosolized coronavirus to the nearby areas outside of the operating room, risking infection to other patients and health-care staff, he said.

RELATED: ‘We’re the pioneers’: Canadian COVID-19 survivors share their stories

Smecher said negative-pressure rooms are preferred for infectious patients who are hospitalized, because the negative pressure isolates any airborne virus within that room. But a negative-pressure operating room would draw germs towards the patient during surgery, risking wound infections.

“By combining these two concepts – negative pressure and positive pressure – in adjacent spaces, we’ve been able to quickly design and build an operating room that prevents wound infections, while also preventing viral spread beyond the room,” he said.

Smecher said this is achieved by the creation of a negative-pressure vestibule (or “anteroom”) at one of the two exit doors of the special operating room, which still maintains positive-pressure inside.

He said the negative-pressure vestibule was constructed in just over 24 hours, with an estimated material cost of $20,000.

“We’re not keeping this a trade secret, or expecting anything in return for our information,” Smecher said. “In fact, to protect patients and health-care workers during this pandemic, we want to share our ideas with hospitals throughout British Columbia and across the world.”

Kyle Olinek of EZEE Hoarding said the company has elminated all rental extensions of its units to health-care facilities indefinitely until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

RELATED: Canadians can’t relax yet despite progress in curbing COVID-19, officials say



newsroom@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusHospitals

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Dr. Curt Smecher worked with maintenance engineers at Abbotsford Regional Hospital to develop a special operating room for COVID-19 surgical patients.

The back space of the “anteroom” shows how the ventilation system is attached to create negative pressure.

Just Posted

Peaceful walk highlights Black Lives Matter in Langley

The evening walks will take place through to Saturday

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

No need to get out of your car at food truck festival in Abbotsford and Langley

Annual event takes drive-thru approach during COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 scare at Aldergrove Starbucks sees store close for two days

A store employee was tested for the coronavirus after an onset of symptoms earlier this week

Hotel stabbing in Milner sends man to hospital

Langley RCMP say more than one attacker may have been involved

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping the Langley Advance Times to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Stray dog with duct tape around muzzle spotted in Abbotsford

Pooch has been spotted over two days, but has escaped capture so far

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Most Read