The COVID-19 pandemic has touched everyone, creating difficulties for people in many ways.
One less publicized but critical group dealing with their own set of concerns while trying to fight this devastating virus are the hospital staff and doctors treating COVID-19 patients.
Intubation that must be done to connect a patient with a ventilator has proven to be an especially challenging concern as the doctors need to protect themselves while tasked with the difficult job of placing intubation tubes.
Though Fab Fours is widely recognized in the aftermarket bumpers industry for its high quality workmanship in the metal fabrication of bumpers and vehicle parts, now they want to help out in a different way in the support of the COVID-19 effort.
When Greg Higgs was contacted by a friend of his who is a medical doctor in Texas working in COVID patient care and sent an open-source schematic for a plastic intubation shield, he jumped at the chance to help.
The engineers at Fab Fours were able to design and build the shield in just two days and improved on the design as well!
Now Fab Fours needs your help to get this design out to the medical community and public so that hospitals around the country can benefit from this innovative Fab Fours product that’s focused on supporting the fight against COVID-19.
Hi, my name's Greg Higgs and my company's Fab Fours.
We typically make bumpers for trucks and Jeeps; but given these crazy times, the private sector is having to get creative and this story is pretty unique, it's special to me.
Good friend, a lifelong friend of mine growing up, is now an ER doctor in Texas and he called me on Sunday, actually sent me a link to an open-source schematic of how to make a box like this for doing intubations and desperate, saying: "How fast could you get me some of these?"
And at first, the design was for an all-acrylic version. We don't do that, we're a fabrication sheet metal house.
But I instantly put an engineer on it and within 48 hours, we shipped him a prototype of this box and now I'm looking to do that across the country if we can be of help.
So, the purpose of this is for doctors that are intubating and I'll butcher a lot of this, 'cause I'm no doctor, but it's basically to get to a ventilator, in order to get the tube down your throat, historically, a lot of doctors like to do a more manual version where you lift the neck, get low and you're seeing it.
But the authorities, and I'm gonna butcher that too, have sent out the memo nationwide to doctors that they should all be using the video laryngoscopy and the reason, you need that separation.
A lot of these are being done on COVID-19 positive patients already and there's just the threat of that, no matter what; we all know how fast it transmits.
The way the video ones work, this could be completely black and it wouldn't even matter because when the doc's hands are in here and they're using the device, they're watching a monitor right here.
But this is huge in case there's any sort of cough, I've seen the videos from the folks that originated this and they showed some of the demonstrations.
We're not FDA approved, we're not going to be, this is what it is.
A simple physical barrier between patient and the doctor.
We tried to use a good powder coat that's as easy as possible to be sterilized between uses, we're gonna get feedback from the field, improve it as needed, but so far between alcohol wipes, UV cleansing, and others, the going consensus is - it shouldn't be a problem.
But that's it; that's how this thing works.
And the problem with the open-source and all of the donations of those, it's small scale.
The process of gluing together acrylic is very hard, it's not quite as strong; well, I have the capacity to make over 1,500 of these a week.
So, in addition to telling this story which I'm very proud of to help my friend, I am looking for the country to help make these connections.
You know, ideal for us would be a charity or non-profit or somebody that can organize purchasing these from us and giving them to hospitals; I'm not in a position to donate these.
I'm trying to keep my 100 employees gainfully employed, we're trying to survive like everyone else.
We found a way to do this cost-effectively, competitively in that, and I'm looking for either hospitals, doctors, anyone that wants to buy direct, we can sell them direct or for medical distribution businesses, we'd love to send you semi-trucks full and for the charitables and non-profits, if you can help make this connection, we can get these in the hands of doctors.
You know, a month from now, the 5-year different solution for this from much bigger players, that doesn't bother me.
I hope I'm back to making bumpers.
But right now, we've tooled the factory, we've already got all the acrylic on its way here, it'll be here Monday.
It's go time - we can get this box in doctors hands next week with your help.
It's a cool story, appreciate anything you can do, it's fabfours.com to reach any of us.
We're still here, we are open, and we'd love to make these boxes!
Fab Fours is asking for everyone’s help as we try to get word of our improved intubation box out to the people who need it most.
If you know of anyone in the medical supply or equipment field, any charitable organizations that might want to partner with us to produce the boxes and make them available to hospitals throughout the country, call or email and put us in touch.
Fab Fours is a proud American owned and operated company and we want to do our part to help Americans and with your help, we can do it!