Bronson to Put Locally Produced Intubation Boxes to Use in Caring for Patients with COVID-19

Published on April 13, 2020

Bronson to Put Locally Produced Intubation Boxes to Use in Caring for Patients with COVID-19

Photos of the intubation box in use

Intubation Box. Intubation Box. Intubation Box.

Thanks to a Kalamazoo collaboration, Bronson now has a local source for a clear Plexiglas-like box that can be used to protect healthcare workers when a patient is being placed on a ventilator. The process, called intubation, involves inserting a flexible tube into the patient’s airway before they are put on the ventilator. During this short process, the patient can exhaust aerosolized droplets.

Because viruses like COVID-19 are spread via these droplets, there can be a danger of spreading the virus to hospital staff during the intubation process. The box, which is placed over the head of the patient, helps to contain these droplets and offers an additional layer of protection from exposure for our staff.

The box has two armholes that allow staff to access the patient and another opening that allows the tubing to exit the box and attach to the ventilator.

The intubation box was originally designed by a Taiwanese doctor, Lai Hsien-yung, an anesthesiologist at Mennonite Christian Hospital in Taiwan. Dr. Lai decided to share his design last month, so that others who were fighting the COVID-19 outbreak could quickly construct their own boxes and put them to use.

Local nurse anesthetist, Brady Beauchamp, reached out to his friend, Andy Bornhorst, a mechanical engineer. The two developed the new design that uses interlocking pieces, unlike the original, which was glued together. The interlocking design allows for easier storage, transport and cleaning. Partnering with Schupan Aluminum and Plastic Sales, they were able to get their new design from prototype to production.

Bronson worked with design team to ensure the proper sizing of the box and armholes. In addition, Bronson recently collaborated with Schupan and Brady Beauchamp to produce an instructional video, which will be used to train staff. Bronson has 10 of the new boxes ready for use with patients who have COVID-19 and expects to have a total of 23 ready for use by Friday, April 17.

For more information on Bronson's response to COVID-19, click here.