UMaine and Maine MEP collaborate on aerosol boxes

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ORONO, Maine (WABI) - The University of Maine and the Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership have been working on a way to better protect healthcare workers on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic.

They've teamed up with in-state hospitals to produce two variations of an “aerosol box".

Patients who may be infected with the coronavirus are inside the box while medical staff intubate them or transport them.

The boxes were developed following a request from MaineHealth.

Companies in Wells, Gorham, and Biddeford are manufacturing them.

“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.”

The aerosol boxes are based on a widely-shared concept by a doctor in Taiwan to treat COVID-19 patients.

A couple of them are already being used by MaineHealth.