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COVID-19: Lake State nurses help design mobile ICU pods

LSSU Nursing department collaborates with Superior Simulation Center, War Memorial Hospital and the United States Army Corps of Engineers to create Acute Container Care Pods
2020-04-23 LSSU Acute Container Care Pods
Acute Container Care Pods. Photo supplied by Lake Superior State University

A small group of registered nurses residing in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – two of whom are members of the Lake Superior State University Nursing Faculty team (Jaimee Gerrie MSN, BSN, RN, LNC, CPPS and Carrie Perez MSN, RN) – were called upon by the United States Army Corps of Engineers-Detroit (USACE) to provide consultation for the design of prototype mobile ICU PODS and Nursing Stations. Ready for trial, these mobile PODs will be shipped and can be utilized by hospitals throughout the United States for those in need of additional ICU hospital beds with ventilator support needs. If the trial is successful there is potential for the retrofit of more to serve many others in need.

In designing the care pods, the first step was to mark up the layout of the needs within the pod, including electrical outlets, data outlets, lighting, wash stations, etc. Configuring a care pod required a practical approach to ensure health care workers would have the ability to provide superior care to their patients.

In an additional effort, LSSU Nursing Faculty team member (Joy Felix, MSN, RN) also provided USACE consultation in the Detroit area.

"We are honoured to be able to do our part and give back to our communities in this way. As nurses it is our responsibility to care for patients and communities in their time of need. To know that our assistance in this USACE project may contribute to the saving of even one life is humbling." - Jaimee Gerrie and Carrie Perez

LSSU Nursing faculty along with the Army Corps of Engineers conducted a simulation on April 21 using the recently created Acute Care Pods (mobile ICUs) that were designed through this collaboration. These units can be deployed to areas needing additional ICU beds for any emergency including the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The simulation provided critical insight on how the pods would function in a real life situation and the unpredictable Michigan weather provided wind and snow to add an extra element to the test.

“Watching the simulation occur and the collaboration between LSSU faculty and the Army Corps of Engineers was an incredible experience. You could see the care and passion that each individual put into ensuring that the real life test accounted for multiple scenarios that could occur.” - Sharmay Wood, interim director of marketing and communications

Dr. Rodney Hanley, president of LSSU, stated, “Our Nursing faculty are exceptional and the collaboration they took part in will provide needed support to areas throughout the United States. Their dedication and passion was evident not only during this project but every day they continue to provide a superior education to our nursing students. I am proud of the numerous efforts by the LSSU faculty and staff’s contributions to the local, region and state especially in this time of critical need.”

Lake Superior State University is one of Michigan's most affordable public universities with One-Rate at Lake State tuition for all. Surrounded by three Great Lakes, LSSU is an unsurpassed location for research, focusing on real-world experiences. Well known for programs such as fisheries and wildlife management, engineering, nursing, criminal justice, and fire science; Lake State is also leading the way with innovative new programs, including cannabis chemistry, cannabis business and robotics engineering. For more information, visit here.