ROCKVILLE CENTRE, NY – In a bold initiative spearheaded by the infectious disease physicians at Mercy Medical Center, the entire hospital will be wrapped in a giant isolation gown in the ongoing effort to control the spread of hospital-acquired infections. Per Dr. Popatlal Shah, who is in charge of the effort:
“It’s too difficult to remember all the different types of isolation and barriers to use. MRSA? VRE? MDR Klebsiella? Influenza? Do you use a mask or gloves? Is alcohol enough or do you have to wash your hands? And God forbid if someone hasn’t had a vaccination. We walk around scolding people and put signs on the door which are ignored. It’s just too much, so I decided to think bigger.”
Dr. Shah says his idea came from the visually impressive and controversial works of Christo and Jean-Claude, who famously wrapped the Reichstag and Pont-Neuf. He contracted with the CDC and the U.S. Army to manufacture a half-mile sized bright yellow isolation gown that will completely cover the entire hospital structure, and secured in place with a 10-foot high ribbon that will wrap around the middle of the building. Dr. Shah:
“The premise is, if no one can get into the hospital, then they can’t get a hospital-acquired infection. This includes doctors, nurses, support staff, patients, everyone! All of those rules go out the window. It’s perfect.”
When asked what would happen to the patients already in the hospital, he had no comment.