New York – A retired New York City registered nurse raised his voice of experience in creating negative pressure rooms in hospitals in a fast, efficient manner in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Tim Sheard, a resident of Brooklyn and a retired nurse working at SUNY/Downstate called union nurses to convince their supervisors and hospital management, and unions to create negative pressure rooms through over the counter window fans.
As of Press time, New York is the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the US and has now a record high of 59,513 cases of infection as of March 29, 2020 with 237 deaths.
Sheard, who runs his own publishing company Hardball Press and erstwhile president of the National Writers Union New York, offered this easy technology and wrote it on Facebook:
“A WAY TO CREATE HOSPITAL NEGATIVE PRESSURE ROOMS FAST…
I am a retired RN who worked in infection control for 12 years at SUNY/Downstate before retiring. Years ago when we were facing an outbreak and scrambling to increase our negative pressure rooms, and NY State did not provide emergency funds for retrofitting rooms (expensive and slow), I worked with one of our hospital engineers on the problem.
We realized that the minimum requirement for a negative pressure room is that it pass the smoke test. Other tests were not at that time mandatory.
We further realized that placing a simple, OTC window fan with side curtains in the window, setting it to blow out and sealing it with duct tape would probably pass that smoke test. We tried it and it worked perfectly. Although we never had to go and convert rooms with this method, we proved the concept.
Now it’s time to put the idea to work.
Hospitals today could purchase hundreds of inexpensive breeze fans, seal them in windows and create hundreds – even thousands of negative pressure rooms in a day. The negative pressure will prevent viral particles from escaping from the room and exposing staff and other patients.
Union Nurses: Pass this suggestion on to your health and safety officers and to your nurse leaders in the hospitals you represent, perhaps they could convince hospital management to purchase the inexpensive fans and implement them. It will help protect caregivers.
In solidarity, Timothy Sheard, RN, retired, Brooklyn”