Toledo business making protective devices for hospitals nationwide amid COVID-19 outbreak

Published: Mar. 31, 2020 at 8:22 PM EDT
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At Allied Plastics in Toledo, owner Jeff Hood and his team are working non-stop doing their part to protect healthcare workers from COVID-19.

"Usually you can do other work during the week, but this has monopolized my time," Hood said.

On a normal day, the group builds everything from trophy cases to boat windows. Right now, it's anything but normal as workers focus solely on making what's known as intubation boxes.

"It's basically three pieces of plastic," Hood said. "You bend the one part in two pieces, two bends, and put sides on it."

The clear plastic boxes go over a patient's head, creating a protective barrier, and limit the chances of spreading illnesses like coronavirus. Hood said ProMedica first approached him about the devices last week, and since then he's made more than 200 with orders coming in from around Ohio and the nation.

"It's amazing," Hood said. "You just can't imagine that something would quarantine a nation like this."

At a time when demand is up at all hospital systems, Toledo doctors say the boxes are literally a lifesaver.

"Our healthcare workers are our priority, and if they're not out there able to care for their patients then the system is broken down," Dr. Brian Kaminski with ProMedica said.

Kaminski said ProMedica is doing everything to prepare for the growing number of coronavirus cases. With personal protective equipment expected to dwindle, intubation boxes offer both protection and reassurance for healthcare workers.

"We're actually in the process of delivering a number of those boxes to all of our hospitals throughout the system," Kaminski said.

While they come at a cost, Hood's crew is working to keep the price down at a time when those on the front lines desperately need supplies.

"I'm proud I came to work, I'm proud I made these parts for the people," Hood said.

Along with ProMedica, Allied Plastics is also making boxes for Mercy Health and the University of Toledo Medical Center. Leaders at Dana Incorporated also tell Action News they're shifting production slightly to make medical supplies as well.