WABI reports on UMaine helping make ‘aerosol boxes’

WABI (Channel 5) reported on a University of Maine and Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Maine MEP) innovation team working with in-state hospitals and manufacturing partners to build, test and start production of two variations of an “aerosol box” meant to protect frontline medical staff as they intubate or transport patients who may be sick with the disease. The first design is a three-sided shield with handholes that covers the patient’s head and shoulders, and allows medical personnel to intubate safely to contain aerosol spray from a patient’s respiratory tract. The second fully encloses a patient’s head and, with the help of a portable tube and filter, creates a negative-pressure environment so that viral particles leaving a patient’s respiratory tract can be captured before they contaminate the surrounding air. “The university is doing this type of rapid innovation for COVID,” said Jake Ward, vice president for innovation and economic development. “Trying to rapidly get the best information where we can prototype, where we can develop. And then really, one of the most positive things is that Maine manufacturers are really stepping up and changing their traditional manufacturing product lines to address these issues.” Down East magazine also highlighted the initiative.