As a team, we are trying to uphold as much structure and normalcy as we can in these troubled times. To keep a general schedule, we decided to host our weekly meetings over Zoom in order to get our postseason projects rolling.
While brainstorming ways we as a team could aid in the fight against COVID-19, we realized that we were constrained to only work from home. One of our team members brought up the idea of 3D printing. After some thorough research, we were able to find a face shield design that was CDC approved. As soon as we found the design, team members who had 3D printers quickly began to 3D print the necessary parts. We began to take orders from local hospitals and supply them with the requested amount of face shields. We used social media to spread the word about the face shield design to encourage other people with 3D printers to help. Team members without 3D printers also sprung to action to find out ways to help. They contacted hospitals to find out the requirements of a cloth-based face mask and began to put together as many masks as possible.
Our team members who had parents who worked at hospitals asked if there was anything else we could make to help. They then informed us that although face masks were essential, they were not the most comfortable. We then began to look for ways to increase the comfortability of the face mask and found an item called an ear saver that we could 3D print. We again began to 3D print as many ear savers as we could and gave them out to health workers around us.
We realized that this was not just a scary time for the essential workers on the frontline, but also to those who were deemed most susceptible to the virus. Our team began to think about ways to help the elderly and those with predisposed conditions. We contacted a nearby sensor living home, Arbor Terrace, and they informed us that the morality of the tenants was depressingly low. We began thinking of ways to help bolster their spirits, one of which was hand-designed cards with uplifting messages on them. Some team members generated aesthetically pleasing designs while others began to think of inspirational messages. Once the team decided on a card design, we began to print the cards. We printed roughly 75 cards and delivered them to Arbor Terrace, with the hope that the cards would provide reassurance that uncertainty of COVID-19 wouldn’t be as threatening a factor as it has been.
While discussing how our team can help to treat patients and level the curve, one of our mentors, John Vu, brought up a news report on the COVID-19 situation in Asia. In that report, it was stated that South Korea had developed and widely deployed something called an “isolation booth.”
The concept of isolation booths falls under the general problem of doctors being unable to safely treat patients while ensuring their own safety. This booth is made so doctors or an individual providing treatment can do so without having to come into any physical contact with a patient. Although we cannot come and construct a booth in person due to the mandatory social distancing, we have supplied detailed instructions accompanied by assembly images. Along with these blueprints, we also have recorded a bill of materials for each booth. These instructions will be uploaded to the internet as well as distributed to local hospitals for their own construction and use.
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Stemming from the isolation booth, we have also constructed an intubation box design file. This box has a more specific use, that being which it will function practicing doctors who will need to be in direct contact with these patients. The box (shown right) is placed upon a sick patient, and a doctor dressed in PPE (personal protective equipment) will reach in with gloved hands to administer intubation. The clear guard prevents any infected respiratory matter from coming into contact with the doctor but does not inhibit the doctor’s necessary range of motion. This file can be used by anyone who is looking to manufacture an intubation box.