A COLLABORATION between University of Limerick and UL Hospitals Group is enabling the design and manufacture of 100,000 face visors for HSE front-line staff.
The Rapid Innovation Unit at UL, an SFI Confirm Centre funded 3D printing activity that works in collaboration with University Hospital Limerick, mobilised a team to innovate immediate solutions in response to the Covid-19 crisis.
Following a request from Professor Paul Burke, chief academic officer at UL Hospitals Group and vice dean of health sciences at UL, academics and clinicians at the Rapid Innovation Unit at UL worked to design and manufacture novel solutions where doctors had identified potential shortages of equipment should Covid-19 cases surge.
In less than two weeks, the team designed solutions to three critical clinical challenges facing clinicians due to the pandemic. These include capacity to manufacture 100,000 face visors for HSE front-line staff, refinement of a shield concept to protect anaesthesiologists during patient intubation for ventilation, and design of adapters for respiratory technologies to undergo a clinical trial.
The design solutions will help to protect the health of front line staff and increase treatment capacities in the hospital system.
The first batch of visors were delivered to UHL last Thursday, while the shield box and adaptors are about to be put into practice. The face visors are in Limerick green and say: The Limerick Visor: Front Line Heroes.
“There has been a phenomenal collaborative effort to deliver these solutions in a very short timeframe,” explained Professor Leonard O’Sullivan, of UL’s School of Design and the Health Research Institute based at UL.
Professor O’Sullivan noted that brothers Aidan and Kevin O’Sullivan, research fellows at UL, had “pulled out all the stops to lead the team to deliver these rapid response solutions for the hospital”.
He explained the local companies had enabled capacity to manufacture up to 5,000 visors a day. The normal production time would take months, but it was done in just nine days.
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