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AdventHealth spearheads effort to 3-D print shields for health-care workers

The prototype lab at AdventHealth Nicholson Center has launched a project to quickly produce tens of thousands of face shields for health-care workers amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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A face shield produced through the AdventHealth labs. // Provided photo

As the number of COVID-19 cases rises around the country, health-care systems are facing shortages of critical supplies to keep their workforce safe. Hospital leaders, including those at AdventHealth, are scouring the world for masks and other protective equipment.

But Jodi Fails didn’t have to look far. She simply turned to a 3-D printer at AdventHealth and found an innovative solution that will help create thousands of face shields for clinicians, a news release states.

Production of the face shields currently is at 1,000 a week, with a preliminary goal of 20,000. The shields are being distributed to AdventHealth hospitals across Central Florida. The health-care system’s facilities include AdventHealth Waterman hospital in Tavares.

Jodi is a product development engineer manager at the AdventHealth Nicholson Center prototype lab in Celebration. She usually uses the 3-D printer to create and test novel devices—like models of a patient’s hip or tools to help physicians during surgery—for clinicians and external companies.

Jodi began researching and found designs for face shields created by her fellow 3-D community online. Much attention has been focused on the need for surgical masks, but face shields—clear, curved pieces of plastic attached to a headband—also are vital and in short supply. Jodi soon created a successful prototype.

“It’s an honor to be able to assist our team members as they fight this pandemic,” Jodi says in the release. “We may not be providing direct patient care, but through the lab, we can help protect our colleagues on the front lines.”

Jodi and the Nicholson Center team then enlisted the help of academic and industry partners to mass-produce the equipment. Participating companies include Universal Orlando Resort, Cimquest, Taz 3D and Out of This World Embroidery.

And if more partners join the efforts, production numbers could go up and help more clinicians.

The face-shield project is part of a broader AdventHealth effort to address shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re also looking at other supplies,” Jodi says. “We’re working across care teams, with physicians and respiratory therapists, making lists of what could be a shortage and how we can find solutions for it.”

 

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