Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Aerosol containment box to the rescue: extra protection for the front line
  1. Steven H Hsu1,
  2. Hsien Yung Lai2,
  3. Firas Zabaneh3,
  4. Faisal N Masud4
  1. 1 Department of Medicine, Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas, USA
  2. 2 Department of Anesthesiology, Mennonite Christian Hospital, Hualien, Taiwan
  3. 3 System Infection Prevention and Control, Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas, USA
  4. 4 Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Steven H Hsu, Department of Medicine, Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston, TX 77030, USA; shhsu{at}


As the COVID-19 pandemic has created shortages of vital personal protective equipment that threatens healthcare workers’ risk of exposure, a need for innovative new ways to protect healthcare workers has emerged. An aerosol containment box that covers the patient’s head and neck in bed provides a solution to protect clinicians during aerosol-generating procedures such as intubation. We collaborated with original designer HYL and modified the size to adapt to larger patients and operator mobility. We expand its applicability by allowing the use of different instruments. The container is outfitted with an ultra-low particulate air-equipped filtration vacuum device to create negative pressure within the chamber and actively remove floating droplet nuclei generated during a procedure. This barrier method will be a valuable and economical option to protect healthcare workers on the front line globally during this pandemic and beyond.

  • infectious diseases, viral
  • equipment evaluation
  • ventilation, invasive
  • airway
  • safety

This article is made freely available for use in accordance with BMJ’s website terms and conditions for the duration of the covid-19 pandemic or until otherwise determined by BMJ. You may use, download and print the article for any lawful, non-commercial purpose (including text and data mining) provided that all copyright notices and trade marks are retained.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Handling editor Lara Nicole Goldstein

  • Contributors All authors contributed to the design of the device. SH, FM and FZ planned and performed the testing. All authors discussed the results and contributed to the final manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests FM is a consultant for Portola Company outside of the submitted work.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • Author note The information on the aerosol containment device has been previously published on the internet to share with all healthcare providers during this COVID-19 pandemic. 1. 2. “Aersol Container Smoke Test” (April 2, 2020). https//

Linked Articles