When a patient came into the hospital and had to be placed in isolation, there was a lot of prep work hospital staff would need to do.
But with a new controlled air purifying respirator, or CAPR system, that time is greatly reduced.
"We have six of these in our ER all the time, and then we have another six in this cart that stay in ICU and can also get shared to medical," says Kari Kirchmeier, clinical educator with Mercy Medical Center. "Those are the floors that have those fancy positive air pressure rooms."
Mercy Medical Center began using this technology in May of 2018. Each staff member attends a training session on how to use it, and while they look different, it is much easier for the staff.
"Not only is it one-size-fits-all, we have small masks, we have large masks, but also you pick the airflow that feels right for you," says Kirchmeier.
While the time has been short, many of the staff have positive things to say about these masks.
"I think people feel safer in them," says Kirchmeier. "You're not so worried about the air leek. You can feel the good, clean air coming across your face the whole time."
Prior to these masks, medical staff would have to use masks that covered the bottom half of their face, taking away any form of expression and clear communication.
"People come in sick and scared, and when you take away what you're used to relying on for communication, that's hard, so I think we'll see more things like this that are full-face and full-access," says Kirchmeier.