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Made In IL: Ebola Containment Device

Illinois Company's Product Can Reduce the Threat of Infection

Thursday, Oct 9, 2014
Source - http://www.kirk.senate.gov/?p=blog&id=1214
   

    More than 3,800 people in West Africa have died from Ebola, with the first death on American soil happening just this week in Dallas, Texas. According to the World Health Organization, more than a million people worldwide could be infected with Ebola by 2015. O'Hare is one of the top five airports for people traveling to the United States from Ebola-affected countries. If proper screening and containment measures are not in place, Ebola will continue to threaten the health and safety of Americans.

    This week, I met with representatives from Isovac, an Illinois company that manufactures a Patient Isolation Unit (PIU) to keep medical personnel and first responders safe from exposure to Ebola when assisting patients who have contracted the disease. Due to the infectious nature of the Ebola virus, those who are caring for infected individuals are at a high risk of contracting the illness through direct contact with mucous membranes or broken skin. Isovac's containment units will keep our medical personnel safe as they work to contain infected patients.

    In a letter with Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.-16), Aaron Schock (R-Ill.-18), Rodney Davis (R-Ill.-13) and Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.-03), I urged the CDC to use these units so that the men and women willing to place themselves in harm's way to fight this deadly disease remain safe from infection.

    Originally developed to protect U.S. troops from biochemical weapons in Iraq and Afghanistan, the PIU has since been shipped to members of the U.S. Air Force and NATO personnel stationed in the Azores Islands to preempt any type of patient evacuation or transport if the disease is contracted. Additional units have been sent to Scott Air Force Base for use by the 375th Air Mobility Wing. The chamber is fully equipped with an air filtration system, attached medical gloves and IV pouches. While in the PIU, the infected person is then completely contained and poses no threat to those caring for the individual en route to a medical center or hospital.

    The chamber is FDA-cleared, and if deployed by the CDC, could be sent to medical personnel and airport security across the world to prevent further spread of the disease to those caring for ill patients.








Portable Isolation Chamber could help contain Ebola

As measures to stop Ebola from spreading in the U.S. and abroad intensify, one Chicago-area company is offering a possible solution to protect health care workers from catching the deadly illness.

ISOVAC Products LLC developed a secure medical transportation device called the Patient Isolation Unit, or PIU -- a nearly 7-foot-long containment unit. It resembles a transparent sleeping bag with a build-in air filtration system, attached medical gloves, IV pouches, and an oxygen unit to treat contagious patients en route to hospitals, CBS Chicago reports.

Transporting and treating patients with the Ebola virus disease poses a risk to medical workers if they come into contact with a patient's bodily fluids.

"Isolation, quarantine and containment -- that's what you have with this unit," ISOVAC CEO Pete Jenkner told CBS 2's Jim Williams.

Jenker presented PIU unit to members of Congress, Homeland Security and the CDC last week and is waiting for approval to manufacture the device at a larger scale. If given the go-ahead, he says his company can quickly produce many PIUs for global use.

Ilinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger thinks it could be a big help to medical staff on the front lines of the outbreak.

"I think in a very large scale rollout of this in western Africa would be beneficial to the people there and beneficial to our military's goal of helping to stop this terrible virus from growing," he said.

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has killed more than 3,000 people and infected over 6,500, the World Health Organization reports, as the spread of the illness outpaces resources.

The first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States is currently being treated at a Dallas hospital after arriving Sept. 20 on a flight from Liberia.





   










Kirk Urges CDC Approval of Illinois Innovation in Fight Against Ebola

Isovac's Containment Units Isolate Infected Individuals from Medical Personnel, Eliminating Threat of Spreading Illness; More Than 150 People Per Day Enter U.S. From Ebola-Affected Regions in Africa

Wednesday, Oct 8, 2014
Source
- http://www.kirk.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1213  
    CHICAGO – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.-16) led a letter today with Reps. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.-18), Rodney Davis (R-Ill.-13) and Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.-03) to Dr. Thomas Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), encouraging use of an FDA-cleared portable isolation chamber to help prevent the spread of Ebola. Isovac Products, based in Romeoville, Ill., manufactures a Patient Isolation Unit (PIU) that keeps medical personnel and first responders safe from exposure to Ebola when assisting patients who have contracted the disease. Today, Senator Kirk met with representatives from Isovac and received a demonstration on how the PIUs work to contain the spreading of infection.  

    "O'Hare is one of the top five airports for people traveling to the United States from Ebola-affected countries – if proper screening and containment measures are not in place, Ebola will continue to threaten the health and safety of Americans," Senator Kirk said. "Isovac's containment units will keep our medical personnel safe as they work to contain infected patients. I urge the CDC to approve the use of these units so that the men and women willing to place themselves in harm's way to fight this deadly disease remain safe from infection."

    Originally developed to protect U.S. troops from biochemical weapons in Iraq and Afghanistan, the PIU has since been shipped to members of the U.S. Air Force and NATO personnel stationed in the Azores Islands to preempt any type of patient evacuation or transport if the disease is contracted. Additional units have been sent to Scott Air Force Base for use by the 375th Air Mobility Wing. If utilized, following an individual's Ebola diagnosis, medical personnel would place the individual into the 7-foot-long containment chamber and begin the process of hooking them up to various IVs and oxygen supplies. The chamber is fully equipped with an air filtration system, attached medical gloves and IV pouches. Due to the infectious nature of the Ebola virus, those who are caring for infected individuals are at a high risk of contracting the illness through direct contact with mucous membranes or broken skin. While in the PIU, the infected person is then completely contained and poses no threat to those caring for the individual en route to a medical center or hospital. This chamber is FDA-cleared, and if approved by the CDC for use, could be sent to medical personnel and airport security across the world to prevent further spread of the disease to those caring for ill patients.   

    More than 3,430 people in West Africa have died from Ebola, with the first death on American soil happening just this morning in Dallas, Texas. According to the World Health Organization, more than a million people worldwide could be infected with Ebola by 2015. It was announced today that five major U.S. airports (Chicago O'Hare International Airport in Illinois, John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Newark International Airport in New Jersey, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Georgia and Washington-Dulles International Airport in Virginia) would begin screening passengers who are arriving in America from Ebola-affected countries. These five airports receive an estimated  150 passengers per day from the affected region, representing approximately 94 percent of travelers from the three affected countries, which are Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

A copy of the Members' letter to Dr. Frieden is below:

October 8, 2014

Tom Frieden, MD, MPH
Director
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30333

Dear Dr. Frieden:

    We are writing to express our profound concern over the first death of the Ebola virus in the United States and bring your attention to an FDA-approved portable isolation chamber manufactured in Illinois.  The use of these isolation chambers could prevent the spread of this horrific and highly infectious disease homeland and abroad.  The latest outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has already killed over 3,430 people and the number of those infected is rising exponentially, despite the international community’s concerted efforts to contain Ebola.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there may be over a million people infected with Ebola worldwide by January 2015.  

    We appreciate the critical role the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is playing to combat Ebola in West Africa and the United States.  However, any and all options should be on the table to contain further spread of the virus.  We are concerned that many health care providers around the world currently do not have the capability to safely transport Ebola patients. Given Ebola’s transmission through contact with bodily fluids of the infected person, representing a significant threat to medical and emergency personnel who are treating or transporting Ebola patients, assuring contamination-free transport is essential.

    A portable isolation chamber could be very advantageous in caring for the patient, protecting the healthcare workers from exposure, and preventing further outbreak.  An American-made solution such as the “CAPSULS Patient Isolation Unit,” a portable isolation chamber manufactured by Isovac Products LLC in Illinois may prove to be beneficial. This device can be deployed for immediate use in hospitals throughout the United States, or to ensure safe transportation from US airports to US hospitals, as well as safely transporting Ebola patients from remote locations in West Africa.

    On September 19, 2014, the President signed into law H.J.Res.124, the Continuing Appropriations Resolution.  H.J.Res.124 appropriated $58 million to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and $30 million to the CDC to combat Ebola.  As you assess the needs to fight this global health crisis, we ask you to consider funding devices which are capable of safe and portable transport of patients infected with Ebola.  
    As the first case of Ebola was recently diagnosed in the U.S., concern of our constituents and all Americans is growing.  We stand ready to work with you to prevent the further spread of this horrendous disease. We hope that you and your team at CDC will seriously consider any and all solutions to combat Ebola worldwide, including taking advantage of this U.S.-manufactured product that is ready for deployment to help in the worldwide effort.

Sincerely,

###

Ebola Containment Equipment Gets Capitol Hill Debut

    A patient isolation chamber suited for the front lines of the fight against Ebola in West Africa arrived Tuesday on the third floor of the Rayburn House Office building.  

    Congressional aides watched the portable unit, which weighs 35 pounds and has up to 10 hours of battery life, inflate atop a table in the room normally used for subcommittee hearings of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. They reached their hands into the eight glove "arms" around the unit, and examined the ports used for medical tubing.  

    The portable patient isolation chamber is a tool that "really isn't being deployed right now," said Zach Hunter, spokesman for Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who worked in conjunction with a fellow Illinois Republican, Sen. Mark S. Kirk, to bring the Romeoville, Ill., company that manufactures the product to Capitol Hill. The medical equipment arrived on the Hill on the day the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released another round of ominous predictions about the spread of the epidemic. Fighting Ebola, said House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., "demands an all hands on deck effort."  

    Congress appropriated $88 million towards efforts in West Africa before skipping town until the November elections. The Department of Defense and the Pentagon have transferred  more resources to the effort, and the Illinois company is hoping its product can be part of the fight.  

    A photo of the clear-walled capsule surfaced on Kinzinger's Twitter account, though the congressman was back home in his district.

    My DC office will be demonstrating this isolation chamber which protects healthcare workers from #Ebola contamination pic.twitter.com/KaX3RVquy3 — Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) September 23, 2014

    Officials from the U.S. Agency for International Development, CDC and a representative from the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health attended the presentation, Hunter said. The company, ISOVAC Products, has been working with the Pentagon to develop medical equipment according to its specifications.  

    "It's for protecting soldiers and health care workers," Hunter said. "Instead of having to put on unwieldy suits, [they] could put infected patients inside it. The danger is in getting folks from remote villages to hospitals."  

    One week before the equipment demonstration, a Senate panel invited Kent Brantly, the medical missionary who contracted Ebola while working as a doctor in Liberia, to testify. He spoke about the dire need for health equipment and supplies in West Africa.  

    "All of these interventions that are needed to stop this horrendous transnational outbreak require significant funding, and budgets must be adjusted appropriately," Brantly warned. "This is not simply a matter of providing humanitarian aid; it is very much a national security concern."