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Bay Area guitar manufacturer now making medical equipment for local hospitals

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PLEASANT HILL, Calif. (KRON) — A Bay Area guitar manufacturer forced to close because of COVID-19 is now re-open, making medical equipment for local hospitals.

With the help of the CHP’s Medical Director Thalia Brands — based in Pleasant Hill — developed a new design for an intubation box, which protects doctors and nurses from getting the virus while treating coronavirus patients.

“I have family workers that are nurses and doctors in these emergency rooms and it just kills me that they don’t have all the protection they need,” Chris Bradley said. “So if we can martial our resources to help then I’m all for it.”

Chris Bradley is the founder and CEO of Thalia Brands, a guitar manufacturer based in Pleasant Hill. Known for making phone cases, capos and guitar accessories — their name is now circulating in the medical field.

“One of my friends Gary Tamkin who is a ER doctor and medical director of California Highway Patrol came to me and said we really need these intubation boxes. They can save lives,” Bradley said. “It’s kind of this critical PPE that’s needed in emergency rooms and ICU’s and so I looked at the boxes that were out there and we thought we could create a better box so I worked with him.”

While his company was forced to close because of the coronavirus, he now realized he could bring his 12-person team back to work and use their manufacturing facility to make these intubation boxes for hospitals.

“It’s a plexiglass box that these doctors places over top of a patient when they intubate them so when they’re gonna put them onto a ventilator and so that is one of the most dangerous jobs in the entire emergency department because when they’re going to do the ventilation, basically aerosol is being sprayed of the virus and so this box provides protection,” he said.

Bradley created a GoFundMe page where the money will be used to build and donate the boxes to hospitals that don’t have enough resources. The first of the orders were installed at Mercy Medical Center in Merced.

More orders are now on their way to local hospitals and others across the country. 

“It feels incredible to be working for something that actually matters in this critical moment,” he said.

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