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Alice Hyde Employee Donates Intubation Boxes to Hospital

Alice Hyde’s Supervisor of Patient Care Services and her husband have donated two custom-designed intubation boxes to the hospital, after the pair worked to develop their own design to help promote safety for health care workers at hospitals in New York State.

Shae Peters Skarbowski, RN, BSN, and her husband, Steve, an inventor and construction company owner, say they came up with the idea for the boxes after seeing an initial design by a Chinese physician. They expanded upon and customized that design for hospitals, measuring ER gurneys, taking human measurements and including features like large arm slots and other aspects, like multiple access points on all sides of the boxes, targeted to a health care environment.

“We made ours very specific to hospital equipment and sort of the average person (size),” said Peters-Skarbowski.

An intubation box is a device that is meant to prevent the spread of aerosolized coronavirus particles during intubation – a procedure in which a provider inserts a tube down a patient’s throat and into their windpipe, so the patient can be placed on a ventilator to assist with breathing. The device is placed over the patient’s head and shoulders during the procedure, and acts as a protective shield between the patient and members of the medical team providing care. Peters-Skarbowski said that a Boston-based study on the boxes’ effectiveness found that they reduced 80% of droplet spread during aerosolizing procedures.

“We’re incredibly grateful to Shae and her husband for helping us keep our employee safe during this crisis,” said Tammy Reynolds, Associate Vice President of Nursing Operations at Alice Hyde.

The pair used a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to build 14 boxes using their design, and are donating those boxes to hospitals throughout the region they call home, which extends from Buffalo, where Peters-Skarbowski grew up, to the North Country. She joined Alice Hyde in November.

“Our desire is to help this community at Alice Hyde, because it’s the most amazing community, and to keep the patients and the people who are rendering care safe,” said Peters-Skarbowski. “That’s why we started on this journey.”