As the demand for ventilators increases in the global effort to combat the coronavirus, many are turning to a new medical device created by a “mom-and-pop shop” in Texas, a ventilation helmet resembling that of a hazmat suit or a spacesuit, as reported by the New York Post.
The business is Sea-Long Medical Systems Inc., located in the town of Waxahachie, Texas. The business owner, Chris Austin, says that they have gone from just a few dozen orders per week to thousands of orders from across the world.
The device in question is a plastic ventilation helmet originally designed to provide oxygen to patients who are being kept in hyperbaric chambers, which includes an airtight seal around the neck and two plastic tubes for ventilation.
Each one only costs $162, and although the device was originally built to connect to ventilators, the device can now hook up to regular oxygen supply tanks after modifications were made by two doctors at the University of Chicago. As such, using such a device would free up the use of actual ventilators, which are more desperately needed and cost well over $10,000 per unit.
The devices have proven successful in treating coronavirus patients from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania, and even in some cases in Italy. Austin also declared that despite the spike in requests from around the world, he will not increase the price of the devices.