The Story of Buffalo 3D PPE
In the current Covid-19 pandemic, healthcare workers are at much higher risk due to increased exposure to infected individuals. This is particularly even more relevant to dental personnel actively exposed to oro-nasal aerosols from procedures. While the increasing focus on restarting clinical activities is being debated, there are several uncertainties about suitable precautionary measures. Among them, the use of personal protective equipment is critical. The supply chain for these PPEs appears to be improving, but the sustained long term availability remains uncertain.
Among several approaches to address these shortages, a 3D-printing dental student volunteer group have been actively pursuing additive 3D printing as a potential avenue for custom-designed, long-term sustainable (reusable) PPEs.
A few of these products are outlined below:
Comfort bands: An NIH-approved design for a comfort band will assist with more comfortable use of elastic bands supported surgical or cloth masks. This not only will ensure tissue (ears/scalp) comfort but also likely assist with improved compliance from professionals and public alike.
Face shields: Another NIH-approved face shield frame with disposable clear plastic sheets will serve as an effective barrier.
N95-like masks: A design has been tested in Buffalo hospitals and can be ordered at https://bemask.org/contact/
Both the comfort bands and face shields are now immediately available to the WNY community.
Our goal is to provide these products to our local community as a service as these 3D PPEs will improve comfort and compliance in accordance with NY state and CDC recommendations.
If you are interested, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we may provide them free-of-charge and can coordinate a drop-off!
Hope everyone is staying safe and healthy!