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ARMC Physician Invents Patient Isolation Device

Dr. Comunale Portrait with Invention 03-13-15_34652

Dr. Comunale Portrait with Invention 03-13-15_34652

COLTON, CA- Mark E. Comunale, M.D., chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center (ARMC) and chief medical officer for patient safety, has invented a mobile Patient Isolation Transport Unit (PITU) that is currently U.S. Patent Pending. Dr. Comunale, who received his undergraduate degree from Boston University, his medical degree from Tufts, and taught for more than a dozen years at Harvard Medical School, came up with the idea for the PITU while trying to solve a practical problem.

“The need for this patient isolation transport unit arose during a period when we were screening for Ebola and other diseases,” said Dr. Comunale, a member of ARMC’s medical staff since 2006. “Once a patient says ‘yes’ to screening questions, the staff must don appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and must have an anteroom available to dress and undress.”

The challenge has been how and where to hold patients while they are assessed and then transported to an appropriate location.


Dr. Comunale sketched out his design for the PITU while thinking about possible low-cost solutions to patient isolation. The result, according to his patent proposal, was “a novel blending and application of existing technology to create a low-cost, disposable bio-secure environment in which to temporarily hold and transport patients who are suspected of having an infectious or contagious disease.”


The PITU is unique in its design because it is disposable and relatively inexpensive. The frame is designed to integrate with hospital stretchers and beds.


“This device is large enough for a patient to sit up and allows movement of the arms and legs and the ability to eat and drink while isolated on a bed,” said Dr. Comunale. “The PITU utilizes the same technology as a Power Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR), which is an already-existing technology that is used to purify air.”


The PITU is stored adjacent to the hospital’s Emergency Room entrance for easy access, but can also be moved to the front entrance of the hospital or to the Medical Office Building north of the medical center.


“As a Trauma Center, constant readiness is essential,” said Dr. Comunale. “The PITU has already been tested in drills and will be used as an integral part of our trauma and emergency services.”


Besides taking care of patients, running his department and solving practical problems, Dr. Comunale also recently authored an article titled, “An Assessment of Basic Patient Safety Skills in Residents Entering the First Year of Clinical Training,” which has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Patient Safety.


ARMC is a 456‐bed university‐affiliated teaching hospital located on a 70‐acre campus in Colton, California, and is a designated Level II trauma center. ARMC operates a regional burn center, primary stroke center, a free‐standing behavioral health center, four primary care centers including three family health centers, and provides more than 40 outpatient specialty care services. For more information, go to: www.arrowheadmedcenter.org.

Music Changing Lives Celebrates 17 Years of Giving Youth Hope in Music, Arts

Students and Staff at MCL

REDLANDS, CA- On  Friday, April 10, Music Changing Lives will host their “Changing Lives Dinner Celebration,” a festive dinner that will help raise funds to benefit music and art enrichment programs for at-risk youth in our community. The event will take place at Mu Restaurant located at 309 W. State Street in Redlands at 6 p.m.

The event will be filled with delicious food, music, silent auctions, and entertainment. When members RSVP for the dinner, they will receive a personalized invitation with a puzzle piece.  The puzzle piece carries a symbolic meaning, as each piece signifies a person and their contribution to keep music and art alive and accessible to the children and youth in our community.  At the end of the night, all attendees will put their pieces together to form the Music Changing Lives puzzle. This will be a symbolic moment and represents how important each contribution truly is to the MCL program.

Individuals interested in attending the Changing Lives Dinner Celebration can purchase early bird tickets for only $40 per person by April 5th.  After that date, tickets will be sold at $60 per person. To RSVP or for general event information contact Vanessa Vizard at (951) 533-6180 or email Vanessa@vizardpr.com.

United Nation of Consciousness Holds State of San Bernardino (S0S) Peace, Progress Forum

what it do with the LUE_SOS

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- We are still in the first quarter of the year, and the chaos and violence in the City of San Bernardino have been in an uptime high. Instead of running away from the problem, we are seeing more people who are stepping out on Faith and getting the courage to make things right for their city, which includes the next generation. The United Nation of Consciousness will be hosting a day “Peace, Unity, and Progress” on Saturday, March 28 at 2 p.m. at the 777 Community Warehouse located at 777 South Allen Street in San Bernardino.

They need YOUR support. You say you want to see change in the city, so here’s a chance to BE the CHANGE that you want to see and be sure to bring a friend. If you would like to volunteer in making the event a success, please call (909) 575-8862 or email uconsciousness@gmail.com.