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

What June 1 will look like at Surrey schools

High school students following a ‘tutorial model’ where they sign up through a set schedule of times

South Surrey church to host drive-thru food-donation station

Items dropped off to Mount Olive Lutheran Church to benefit Surrey Urban Mission program

Surrey-Langley SkyTrain extension faces potential delays due to COVID-19

Pandemic ‘adversely’ impacting TransLink’s finances; ‘much work’ required to approve next investment plan

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

MAY 29: Feds to mull border-closure exceptions for families split between Canada and U.S.

SIMPSON: For real leadership amid crisis, look west of Scott Road

Delta council, under direction of Mayor George Harvie, defines leadership during pandemic

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

B.C. tourism seeks relief as businesses wait for COVID-19 restrictions to ease

Mid-June earliest for more in-province travel to be authorized

Reward for info on trapped raccoon rises to $6,000

Activists have donated to try to find whoever laid a trap in Delta

Man last seen walking out of Royal Columbian Hospital found dead

It is unclear how or why Gavin Deloes was able to leave the New Westminster hospital

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

B.C. woman launches First Nations search, rescue and patrol program

Linda Peters envisions trained searchers ready to go at moment’s notice in each B.C. First Nation

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

Most Read