During the Coronavirus pandemic there has been a shortage of personal protection equipment (PPE) nationwide and health providers are looking for any help they can get.
Baptist Health hospital and Florida International University in South Florida have partnered up to 3D print reusable face shields for our doctors and nurses in the fight against COVID-19.
FIU’s College of Communication, Architecture and The Arts are at the center of this initiative. Their staff, faculty, and students are producing 1,000 face shields in 10 days.
“One of the things that we thought of, being a nurse and paramedic, is the use of face shields and how crucial they are. We know that there is a shortage of N95 (Face Masks) nationally, but when you utilize a face shield you are elongating the life of the mask that the healthcare provider is wearing,” said Bridget Pelaez, Assistant Director of FIU’s Emergency Management,
The school made sure the shields are designed to protect our healthcare workers from COVID-19.
“What this will do is allow the healthcare worker to work behind a shield and ensure that no droplets go to the healthcare providers face. What we are being told by the CDC is so long you can preserve the N95 with no obvious destruction, it can be reused. This is a dire time we are in now and we think the face shield is going to be able to help healthcare providers everywhere,” added Pelaez.
Within a day of the idea being presented to the FIU staff, architecture students met the challenge of coming up with the design of the face shield from home.
“There has been a little bit of challenge, I really wish I was there in person to see the prototype and to see, hands-on, what the quality is. We’ve been able to work around those challenge through Zoom and transferring the files back and forth via WeTransfer,” said Brett Serfozo, student.
Now more than ever in these struggling times, it’s crucial that the community comes together.
“Part of being a student in FIU, you just need to do what’s right. I have never faced something like this in my lifetime, it’s just important to work as a team and do the best we can,” said Diana Vasquez, student.
Hundreds of face shields have been sent to Baptist Health hospitals in South Florida and hundreds more are still to come.
Watch the video to see the face mask's design and how it works.