Cuyahoga Falls (OH) Gets Creative during Pandemic

Using this device, exhaled air is exhausted from the back of an ambulance. (Photo/Rick Malak)

The Cuyahoga Falls (OH) Fire Department has a new tool in the toolbox to fight COVID-19 exposure.

It’s a new product and procedure to safely exhaust all patient-exhaled air from the back of an ambulance, Lt. Rick Malak tells JEMS.

Related: Complete COVID-19 Coverage from JEMS

Here’s how it works: One end of tubing is placed over a patient’s mask while the other end is connected to the exhaust. It then exhausts a patient’s entire exhaled air so everything they breathe out gets exhausted immediately from the ambulance.

Malak said Cuyahoga Falls is using this on all of its ambulances after being directed to install the device by his chief and with approval from the medical director.

The device is patent pending, but Malak is looking for a way to get his product to a manufacturer and then quickly to hard-hit areas in need. He noted the product build is rudimentary but can easily be manufactured to EMS standards.

Malak says the device can easily be retrofitted to all ambulances and should be incorporated to all future ambulances.

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