Indianapolis company makes intubation boxes to protect doctors, nurses from COVID-19

Business making intubation boxes for doctors

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Some doctors and nurses in Indianapolis have an extra layer of protection from the coronavirus, thanks to a doctor from Taiwan and a sheet metal company in Indianapolis.

The first intubation boxes at Bright Sheet Metal on the northwest side of Indianapolis went out Friday afternoon. They could have far-reaching effects for those on the front lines.

It doesn’t look like much. A simple box: two sides of metals, each with two handles and two sides of plexiglass, with one side having two large holes.

But for doctors and nurses around the highly contagious coronavirus each and every day, it’s a simple box during intubation that may keep them from getting sick.

“If it provides that extra protection, that what everybody wants,” said Gary Aletto, co-owner of Bright Sheet Metal Company.

It all started exactly one week ago, with some photos and a news article about a doctor in Taiwan.

Employees at Community Health Network asked if Aletto and his company could replicate the design last Friday.

Aletto’s team actually improved the box by shrinking its size, adding handles and fabricating parts of it in metal so it was a little more sturdy.

By Monday, they had a prototype.

On Wednesday, doctors offered a few more tweaks.

Now, on Friday, 12 boxes are already off the production line and at Community Health North, with more health groups looking Friday afternoon.

“Everyone is trying to pitch in where they can right now. We’re all scrambling to help the healthcare groups whenever we can. Every little bit helps,” Aletto said.

Bright Sheet is a contractor known for ductwork, including the system at Lucas Oil Stadium so this project is something a little different.

That’s not all.

They sold 50 partitions for hospital desks Friday, too.

The boxes themselves aren’t cheap. Because they use surgical-grade stainless steel and plexiglass, which is suddenly in high demand, just the cost of materials is about $350 per box.

“I think it will make a difference. I think it adds protection for the doctors,” Aletto said. “This will just provide an extra layer of protection for them.”

It’s protection that just about priceless these days.

As for sale price, that’s still being worked out.

Bright Sheet Metals has bought enough materials to make 200 more intubation boxes over the next seven days.