LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The need for personal protective equipment, or PPE, is dire, as supply cannot keep up with demand amid the coronavirus pandemic. One Louisville business is stepping up to help area hospitals preserve the life of their PPE.
Considered an essential business, Prudential Heating and Air Conditioning is still operating, with technicians out serving customers. A predominant ingredient in their service calls is ultraviolet light, which helps sanitize an HVAC system. During a conversation with a customer, who also happened to be a doctor, service manager Mark Schroeder came up with an idea to use UV light for a more helpful purpose.
“It shines directly on the PPE equipment," said Nick Kramer, the owner of Prudential Heating and Air. “We thought it’d be a really good crossover to the health care side. We can potentially use these to sanitize some of the masks that are in such shortage.”
Schroeder designed what he calls a UV lightbox in just over a day, The box contains several shelves, capable of holding and sanitizing whatever’s inside, including PPE. The equipment sits inside the box for 15 minutes, then comes out cleaner than it went in.
“I don’t think it’s been specifically studied and determined exactly how long," Kramer said. "We do know that it’s an effective process and it can potentially help these health care workers use these a lot longer than they normally would have and use them in a safe manner.”
It’s an issue that hits close to home for Schroeder. His sister is a nurse and he has several friends who work in health care. He told WAVE 3 News this was his way to show he appreciates their sacrifice.
“It’s something that I felt like I could do and something that I wanted to do," Schroeder said.
“We’ve all got to do everything we can to try and help the entire community. So, it was more just to do our part to give back to the community that’s been so good to us for the past 70 years.”
Schroeder told WAVE 3 News he sent the UV lightbox to Baptist Health Floyd for medical professionals to test and hopefully use. He also said he’s been in contact with other doctors around Louisville, and hopes to deliver boxes to other hospitals in the area.