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Waxahachie Business Flooded With Orders Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

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Just 30-some days ago, a small Waxahachie business was handling two-to-three dozen orders each month for a ventilation device formatted to fit a helmet. With five employees, Chris Austin also coordinated a small group of volunteers from their local church, running the workshop that supported the entity behind their home. Then COVID-19 and the coronavirus pandemic appeared on the scene. That’s when Sea-Long Medical Systems Inc. started to see orders numbering in the thousands each day.

Some of the top hospitals in America were connecting with the Texas company, not to mention global shipping to placed such as the United Arab Emirates. This was the direct result of research that identified Sea-Long Medical Systems’ helmet-style ventilator device could assist in instances where hospital ventilators were needed for more critically ill patients of the coronavirus. Plus, it costs the company less than $200 to make.

Waxahachie Business Flooded With Orders Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

Photo: envato elements

In an interview with NBC News, Austin said that the popularity of their business which grew almost overnight was hard to define. “Overwhelmed’ doesn’t scratch the surface,” he explained. With a dire need for ventilators in America and beyond as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the helmet ventilator device was critical. While state governors have made fervent requests for more equipment, and large companies such as Ford and General Motors have retooled assembly lines in efforts to produce these life-saving devices, hospital executives around the world are racing to find equipment that may help ease the burden during this crucial time.

Doctors who have been studying the Sea-Long helmet ventilator for years suggest that it holds promise as a method of early intervention, perhaps bringing down the need for respiratory patients to be placed on hospital ventilators. Doctors hope that it will reduce the number of patients who need a ventilator. Even reducing the numbers by a few would be a game-changer.

Waxahachie Business Flooded With Orders Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

Photo: envato elements

At its present cost, the Sea-Long ventilator helmet is a small fraction of hospital ventilators, which are at a premium, with five-figure price tags. The helmets have been modified to be hooked up to the regular oxygen supply at a hospital. This keeps the ventilators free allowing for assistance to those in most dire need during the pandemic. Since starting to place COVID-19-related orders, Austin’s team at Sea-Long in Waxahachie has been working 24-7. Their company workforce has doubled, and whole teams of volunteers have been arriving there to assist. It’s a moving story of Texans coming together to help during a time of need.