Face shields for medics being made by a Thaxted firm with a 3D printer

PUBLISHED: 18:11 05 May 2020 | UPDATED: 12:13 15 May 2020

Drs Ali Arnaout and Susan Murphy wearing the face shields at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge

Drs Ali Arnaout and Susan Murphy wearing the face shields at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge

Archant

Face shields for medics - described as “a Godsend” - are being made, and given out free, by a Thaxted firm with a 3D printer.

Face shields for medics - described as “a Godsend” - are being made, and given out free, by a Thaxted firm with a 3D printer.

D P Sandblasting, which usually works in metal with anything from cars to stained glass windows to fitting out churches, has stepped up to combat the shortage of PPE (personal protective equipment).

So far, over 200 clear plastic shields have been made and given to medical and care staff at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, Saffron Walden Community Hospital and care homes including Humphrey Lodge in Thaxted and Highfield Care Home in Saffron Walden.

Owner of DP Sandblasting, Dariusz Przerwa said: “I can make any number, 500 or 1,000, anyone who needs them can let me know.”

He said: “At the beginning of the lockdown, we heard there was a shortage of PPE at a lot of places. We had the facilities. We thought we would just help out locally at not nationwide.

“We made hand sanitiser, we had the alcohol, we were able to make it. If you can do something to help, then anyone should do it.”

The project has been organised by Mr Przerwa’s friend, Caroline Edmunds, a teacher at Bishop’s Stortford College and a fellow member of the New Life Church in Saffron Walden, who set up a crowdfunding page.

Caroline, who teaches English, said: “The shields only cost about £3 to make. At first there seemed to be a lack of funding for the shields as well as a lack of availabilty. In two days, we raised £250 and that was enough money for 70 shields. Now the total is £625. We have had donations from people who have received the masks, somebody today gave us £90. In effect some people are paying for their masks.”

The shields have been gratefully received. A friend of Caroline’s, Anna Hill, a community nurse at Exeter Hospital in Devon (where Caroline is orginally from) said: “What’s wonderful is that I don’t have to wear a mask under the shield. Patient can see my lips and see my expression. This is a Godsend.”

Doctors at Addenbrooke’s are already wearing them on the wards.

To donate to the project, go to: www.gofundme.com/f/1yz03y5vio?sharetype=teams&member=4178458

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