Mass. ambulance service receives free plexiglass aerosol boxes

The boxes are designed to go over a patient's head during airway management procedures and trap aerosol contaminants


George Austin
The Standard-Times, New Bedford, Mass.

SWANSEA, Mass. — Swansea Ambulance Corps Executive Director Brendan Martin was able to obtain two free plexiglass aerosol boxes to help protect his emergency medical service personnel from patients who are possibly infected with the coronavirus and also secured some of the boxes to help out other area departments that transport patients to the hospital in ambulances.

The boxes are a new device that go over a patient's head during tracheal intubation and airway management to trap aerosol contaminants from the lungs and secretions. The boxes are sealed in the front but there are holes in the sides of the boxes so a paramedic can continue to work on patients while they are on stretchers. Martin said the boxes are used in both pre-hospital and hospital settings.

A group of construction professionals have formed a group called Maybe We Can Help to produce and donate plexiglass boxes designed to trap aerosol contaminants during EMS airway management procedures. (Photo/maybewecanhelp.org)
A group of construction professionals have formed a group called Maybe We Can Help to produce and donate plexiglass boxes designed to trap aerosol contaminants during EMS airway management procedures. (Photo/maybewecanhelp.org)

Martin was also able to secure six of the aerosol boxes for Fall River, two for Somerset and two for Dighton.

The fire chief in Acushnet got Martin in touch with the construction workers that have come together to offer the aerosol boxes to the public safety personnel. Construction professionals from Boston started a group called Maybe We Can Help that are producing the boxes and distributing them for free. Maybewecanhelp.org is a group of construction workers who have joined together to make and donate devices to protect healthcare workers and first responders while they intubate COVID-19 patients. This group was recently formed and has secured enough plexiglass and other equipment that is allowing it to build 1,100 protection devices which are being donated to hospitals and fire departments from Boston to New York.

The units are sterilized and wrapped in plastic for delivery. The construction workers are building them in a 3,000 square foot state-of-the-art shop with two shifts per day. They are maintaining 20 feet of separation between workers at all times. They are wearing respirators, eye goggles, gloves and protective suits throughout the process.

The construction workers organized donations, materials and people to produce the aerosol boxes. The first shipments of the boxes went out on April 7.

Fall River Emergency Medical Services picked up the boxes for the area departments.

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©2020 The Standard-Times, New Bedford, Mass.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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