3D printers help make face shields for Banner workers during virus outbreak
PHOENIX — Owners of 3D printers in the Valley are stepping up to help make face shields for health care workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic in Arizona.
They’re helping produce about 1,000 face shields per week for nurses, doctors and other health care providers at Banner Health hospitals.
“These face shields will protect the eyes, nose and mouth of our health care workers from any sort of airborne particles entering their bodies,” said Christy Anderson, executive director for Banner Innovation Group at Banner Health.
She said Banner facilities have enough personal protective equipment for health care workers, so the face shields will serve as “preventive measures should we get to a low or no supply situation in the future.”
The companies using 3-D printing to help make the face shields usually produce vastly different products, including cookie cutters and dental implants.
Kirk Strawn, founder of Walter Productions, is also helping with his 3D printing capabilities. He’s known for an array of creative projects and entertainment-themed vehicles and venues.
Strawn, also a medical doctor who stepped back from his practice a few years ago, said personal protective equipment “is incredibly important” during pandemics.
“It’s really a system of different components and the face shields, particularly with the coronavirus, can be helpful,” he said. “As you’re doing testing, you certainly elicit coughs, sneezes and that certainly puts folks at higher risk.”
Banner health care workers will still need to wear N-95 mask and other protective equipment while wearing the face shields.
Anderson said the face shields will add “an extra layer of protection over the nose and mouth.”
“All that protection right now is what’s going to keep them as healthy as possible,” she added.