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Arm supports stabilize patients’ arms for blood draws

Arm supports stabilize patients’ arms for blood draws

Rehab & Wound Services Director Renee Daniels and Hospital Therapy Services Manager Sarah Ruff asked for help and Alex Lingafelter, occupational therapist assistant answered the call.

Phlebotomy opened an adult drive-through lab at Carle Urbana on Windsor, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. and patients needed a helping hand, or armrest, really.

“At first I thought it was a joke because I always pass out when I give blood, but once I realized it was for fabricating some sort of device, I was sold,” Lingafelter said.

As Carle Health continues their reopening efforts, several COVID-19 processes remain in place to help maintain a safe and clean environment for patients.

  • Extensive cleaning efforts
  • Placing more time between appointments
  • Putting social distancing in place in our waiting and common areas
  • Staff, approved visitors and patients need a face covering
  • Patients and visitors will need a quick screening before entering, including a temperature check

And some added measures took safety to the next level, like drive-through blood draws. Patients can stay in their car while having their blood drawn per their provider’s request. But to make sure it was a comfortable experience for patients – instead of just dangling their arms out the window – a team of Carle employees came together to make a device. 

“Alex is trained to be able to fabricate hand/arm splints for patients that need them while in acute care,” Ruff said. 

So as soon as Lingafelter found out he’d be helping, he went to work drawing up some ideas. 

Lingafelter, along with Executive Director of Facilities Services Tom Johnson, Phlebotomy Manager Heather Masters, Phlebotomy Supervisor Joni Moody, and Phlebotomy Technician Supervisor Robin Rosenberger, met, solidified plans and a week later, two arm supports came to fruition.

“I only had a day to make two armrests once the material was delivered,” Lingafelter said. “After I made them, I passed the project on to one of Tom’s carpenters, and he put some foam and wing nuts on the rests for me.”

At the moment, the Windsor location is the only drive-through lab, and staff can draw blood from two patients at a time.

“They work great. We ended up taking the top tray off of the rests to make them smaller, and it seems to work even better that way,” Lingafelter said. “They’re pretty versatile, which is cool, considering I didn’t quite know what I was doing.” 

Though he might not give himself much credit, Lingafelter enjoyed working on the project and with an awesome group of people. 

“We’re all from different disciplines, but were able to come together and make good things happen,” he said. “Overall, we’re satisfied with how they turned out.” 

This is just another example of how Carle team members are being innovative and finding solutions.

“Alex has gone above and beyond to create and fabricate this specialized arm tray for us to use,” Ruff said. “How cool is that?”

Categories: Culture of Quality

Tags: Champaign-Urbana, COVID-19, Illinois, Innovation, Laboratory Services, Therapy services