CCM Hockey has taken another step to help protect front-line health care workers in their battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Montreal-based gear maker announced Monday that it is ready to produce 150 new protective hoods a day to serve Quebec’s medical personnel.
The full-head, protective hood — which was created via a joint task force involving surgeon Dr. Rene Caissie of the Hopital du Sacre-Coeur de Montreal, Dorma Labs and DentalCorp, Industrie Orkan and CCM — is still pending approval by health authorities, but is powered by an air-purifying respirator and is designed to guard against aerosolized and airborne particulates.
The hood can also be worn for multiple hours, potentially reducing the risk of exposure between the treatment of different patients. CCM says it attained an Assigned Protective Factor of 100, which is 10 times that needed to qualify as an N95 mask.
“We are deploying our culture of innovation and craft, which normally protects the world’s best hockey players doing battle on the ice, for a new purpose: protecting our health care workers on the front lines of the most important battle of our time,” said Rick Blackshaw, CEO of CCM Hockey, in a press release.
“Our team of skilled craftspeople and grinders has managed to temporarily transform our NHL pro custom equipment facility into a medical equipment installation, engineering a completely new production line, deploying safety measures, and training employees,” added Blackshaw.
“Meeting the logistical challenges of implementing such a change is daunting, but to do so in the face of personal stress, imposed personal isolation and extreme time constraints shows what a committed and resourceful team we have.”
The announcement comes a week after CCM said it was donating 500,000 surgical masks to front-line medical personnel. Fellow hockey-gear manufacturers such as Bauer, Vaughn and New Balance — the parent company of Warrior — have also stepped up amid the widespread shortage of personal protective equipment.
CCM’s protective hood is the brainchild of Dr. Caissie, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, who created a working prototype in his garage after witnessing first-hand the dire need for PPE.
Dr. Caissie reached out to CCM, which was already looking for ways to help in the fight against COVID-19, to see if it could produce the device at scale.
The blueprints of the design has also been shared on an open-source basis in an effort to encourage collaboration and allow other manufacturers to help increase production capacity.
“The tremendous response time and manufacturing turnaround at CCM and Orkan is a true testimony to the power of collaboration in the face of a common threat,” said Dr. Caissie.
“The needs are so great that we are asking everyone out there to chip in in any way they can. At this point, a robust supply chain is vital to producing as many devices as possible and distributing them without delay.”