Workers and volunteers at Covenant Health have begun crafting thousands of face shields in Lubbock to help supply more personal protective equipment for healthcare workers facing the coronavirus.

The use of face shields has become crucial in the fight against the virus as it protects the eyes, nose and mouth of the wearer and keeps face masks underneath sanitary longer.

With some polycarbonate, styrofoam and other supplies and volunteers, the group has made 4,200 shields so far and are now hoping to make 13,000 more with the help of a partnership with the Innovation Institute.

“Shields were worn previously for procedural areas and OR people were already wearing them,” said Casey Wood, senior project manager for quality and patient safety at Covenant Health. “But since Covid-19, we have a lot of people that are in need of it so the demand went up like crazy. Our supplier could not supply them, so we got crafty and did what we could.”

At Covenant Heatlh facilities, caregivers are currently required to wear masks in areas with the public, such as the lobby where patients check in and are being temperature screened. Masks and face shields are now required for anyone who has direct contact with patients including in the emergency room or a nurse checking vitals.

The group of volunteers experimented with other materials before deciding polycarbonate was the best one for the job. There is also styrofoam at the top to cushion the forehead.

They began making them the week of March 23, and got positive feedback from the healthcare providers using them.

“Since the OR loved them so much, we wanted to create a good stockpile for them because we don’t know how long Covid-19 is going to last,” said Wood. “We wanted to be sure we’re not setting them up for failure.”

Wood added, “We want to have a good process for replacement so our caregivers are still protected.” More…