Jay Nagle, president and owner of New River Engraving, assembles an intubation that will be sent to a hospital somewhere in the United States.
Companies throughout the New River Valley have seen their business drop by more than 60 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic, and New River Engraving in Christiansburg is no exception. But manager Zach Nagle has found a way to use his specialized equipment to help hospitals and other medical facilities around the country.
New River Engraving is producing, shipping and donating intubation boxes and face shields.
Manager Zach Nagle said he got the idea for the project from an email that he received about others in the industry producing the boxes, which allow medical personnel to put their hands through the box while keeping their face away from the patient during intubation. Intubation is a medical procedure involving the insertion of a tube into the body, usually when patients can’t breathe on their own.
The company has received requests from around the country for the boxes.
“We knew we could make them, and we wanted to help,” Zach Nagle said. “We were not able to be on the front lines of this virus so the next best thing is to help protect as many people as possible.“
A GoFundMe effort helped to raise money to buy the materials for the project. Each box costs $125 to create and ship. The face shields are made from the leftover acrylic from the boxes.
“We have raised about $6,500 so far,” the business manager said.
So far, the company has shipped 37 boxes to 20 different hospitals across the country in California, Florida, Maryland, New York, Texas and Tennessee.
“The sense of community for all of this has been fantastic,” said Nagle. “Once this virus passes, I hope we can all remember how ‘in this together‘ we all really were and continue that.“