University of Alberta faculty and staff are working with Alberta Health Services (AHS) to create thousands of 3D-printed face “shields” for use in the province’s hospitals.
The project, which aims to manufacture up to 2,000 shields for frontline healthcare workers, was started in response to hospitals’ dwindling stocks of personal protective equipment (PPE) amid the current COVID-19 health crisis. An initial batch has already been piloted at the University of Alberta hospital for feedback ahead of final production. The number of COVID-19 cases in Alberta is expected to peak in May.
The team has rushed to receive approval from Health Canada to manufacture the shields, and is working with AHS to develop new protocols for their use. The team is also working with several partners to produce the shields, as well as private citizens and charitable groups who have volunteered the use of their 3D printers.
The team has created a GoFundMe page to help finance production costs.