PLoS One. 2023 Jan 6;18(1):e0272716. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0272716. eCollection 2023.
The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic renewed interest in infectious aerosols and reducing risk of airborne respiratory pathogen transmission, prompting development of devices to protect healthcare workers during airway procedures. However, there are no standard methods for assessing the efficacy of particle containment with these protective devices. We designed and built an aerosol bio-containment device (ABCD) to contain and remove aerosol via an external suction system and tested the aerosol containment of the device in an environmental chamber using a novel, quantitative assessment method. The ABCD exhibited a strong ability to control aerosol exposure in experimental and computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulated scenarios with appropriate suction use and maintenance of device seals. Using a log-risk-reduction framework, we assessed device containment efficacy and showed that, when combined with other protective equipment, the ABCD can significantly reduce airborne clinical exposure. We propose this type of quantitative analysis serves as a basis for rating efficacy of aerosol protective enclosures.