Protecting the Protectors
Making Face Shields for Healthcare Workers During Lockdown
Professor Santanu Dhara and Professor Sangeeta Das Bhattacharya, researchers at the School of Medical Science and Technology at IIT Kharagpur have made a prototype to make face shields for healthcare workers from home during the lockdown. The face shield is an essential part of the personal protective equipment (PPE) required for healthcare workers taking care of patients with suspected COVID-19.
The basic PPE for healthcare workers include respirator or face masks, eye protection including goggles and face shields, gloves and gowns. The face shield is a transparent plastic protective cover, attached to an elastic head gear. It protects the face from splashes. There is a shortage of all PPE for healthcare workers globally.
Professor Santanu Dhara and Professor Sangeeta Das Bhattacharya have designed a face shield using materials which can be procured even under the nation-wide lockdown. The items include transparency sheet, sponge, folded paper, cardboard or packaging box, elastic, or rubber band, and double-sided tape. A team from the School of Medical Science and Technology produced 14 such face shields in 2 hours and are in the process of making more, while remotely working from their homes.
“At a time when the demand for protective wears has escalated sharply, we have to improvise products using easily sourced materials and simple process to offer some sort of protection for the health workers,” remarked Prof. Santanu Dhara.
“It is essential to get personal protective equipment for healthcare workers and the faceshield is just one part. We are contributing in a small way, these have not been rigorously tested,” said Prof. Sangeeta Das Bhattacharya.
Face shields like other medical equipment require testing and certification. These are desperate times. There is a dire shortage of PPE globally and health care workers have taken to crowdsourcing. The hashtag #GetMePPE is trending across social media.
Disclaimer: This release is made in the public interest. Items described herein are only prototypes and caution is warranted during the DIY procedure. Every medical product and equipment requires testing and certification by appropriate authorities before use.