ICU Doctor says ‘rotoprone’ bed saved Tucson COVID-19 patient’s life

Published: Jul. 24, 2020 at 10:23 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - “I don’t think he would’ve made it without using the bed.”

That’s what Dr. Dany Bahdouch, Director of the Intensive Care Unit at Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital, told KOLD News 13 Friday, a day after Isaias Delgadillo was discharged from the hospital.

Delgadillo was admitted to Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital in June, treated for COVID-19 and released July 23 with a standing ovation from hospital staff.

This situation was very special for everyone involved.

The 31-year-old was transferred to Abrazo in Phoenix after stays at two western Arizona hospitals.

Dr. Bahdouch said the hospital was going through a rough time about two weeks ago, monitoring the sickest of sick.

“He was requiring mechanical ventilation and traditional tools and medications for his condition, but that was not enough,” said Dr. Bahdouch. “And then, we moved to the prone positioning and that bed made it very simple.”

Delgadillo was placed on a rotoprone bed for about 10 days to improve his lung oxygenation. Prone positioning is a treatment for severe respiratory failure that involves turning a patient with precise motions from their back onto their stomach so the individual is lying face down.

Isais Delgadillo was placed on a “rotoprone” bed for approximately 10 days to improve his lung...
Isais Delgadillo was placed on a “rotoprone” bed for approximately 10 days to improve his lung oxygenation.(Source: Tenet Healthcare)

Dr. Bahdouch said COVID-19 patients are often turned onto their stomach for better oxygen flow to their lungs and blood flow through their body. He said that can be a task, especially during the crisis, taking about four to five staff members and about 30 minutes of time, as well as running the risk of an issue with a ventilator or other medical tool.

The rotoprone bed makes the process simple, as the patient is turned at an angle with a remote. Dr. Bahdouch said all ICU’s have access to rotoprone beds.

Dr. Bahdouch said Delgadillo subsequently progressed from being on a ventilator to eventually breathing room air. He was the first patient to use a rotoprone bed at Arizona Heart Hospital.

“He was the first patient to be able to be discharged, home, after going through the worst pneumonia or respiratory distress syndrome of COVID-19. It had a lot of significance for us, for the staff, for the moral. Yeah, that was very symbolic,” said Dr. Bahdouch.

Delgadillo will continue his recovery near family in Tucson.

Copyright 2020 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.