Local business owner offers healthcare workers more protection on the front lines

Coronavirus
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DENVER (KDVR) — A local business owner has shifted from making custom prosthetics to a new piece of protective equipment in hopes that it helps healthcare workers on the front lines of the pandemic.

Eric Neufeld with Agile Orthopedics has spent years making custom prosthetics. When the pandemic hit, a friend in healthcare asked Neufeld if he could make an intubation box after seeing them successfully used in Taiwan. Neufeld looked into it and realized he was well-equipped to make it happen.

“That’s one of the silver linings is that you start to think really creatively and think outside the box and what you can do to help. Our business is small and nimble and agile so we are able to pivot and do these things,” said Neufeld.

An intubation box is a clear plastic box goes over a patient’s head and shields doctors and nurses as they lean in to intubate a patient. The box can serve as an extra layer of protection or, as concerns continue to grow over the dwindling supply of personal protective equipment, an intubation box could serve as a key layer of defense for ill-protected healthcare workers.

Neufeld said every hospital in the Denver metro has contacted him either inquiring about the boxes or ready to place an order. Neufeld said hospitals in Boston, Atlanta and Maryland have followed up as well. Neufeld said the boxes aren’t easy to ship so he’s linking up hospitals outside Colorado with manufacturers in their area.

Neufeld isn’t profiting from this — he’s only charging for the cost of materials and assembling the boxes for free. He said it’s his way of helping in any way he can.

“I hope it’s serving a purpose and we are part of the solution to these problems,” said Neufeld.

Neufeld plans to deliver boxes to healthcare workers in Vail this week.

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