St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children Receives Free PPE Face Shields from the Bucks IU FAB LAB

Instead of sit­ting idle while schools are not in ses­sion, the Bucks County Intermediate Unit’s (Bucks IU) Mobile FAB LAB has been pro­duc­ing Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) face shields with their 3‑D print­ers and laser cut­ter.  Led by Dr. Lindsey Sides, Bucks IU Supervisor of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) Education, the face shields are cre­at­ed from designs shared with the Bucks IU by Cornell University.  Once a pro­to­type was com­plet­ed and approved, pro­duc­tion began on April 3rd.  The first deliv­ery of 80 masks was made to the Bucks County Emergency Management Operations Center on April 6th.  At the same time, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, locat­ed in Philadelphia, reached out to Dr. Sides to see if there was any way they could pos­si­bly receive some of these face shields. 

As with many med­ical insti­tu­tions dur­ing this COVID-19 pan­dem­ic, patient and staff safe­ty is at the fore­front of their con­cerns and being able to replen­ish their stock of PPE con­tin­ues to be a chal­lenge. In line with the Bucks IUs mis­sion of serv­ing chil­dren, Dr. Sides very quick­ly agreed to deliv­er some from the next batch being pro­duced.

It is our plea­sure to be able to gift St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children with these per­son­al pro­tec­tion face shields dur­ing these dif­fi­cult time with the COVID-19 virus” stat­ed Dr. Sides. “We are grate­ful to be able to redi­rect equip­ment that would have been idle, to now be used to help oth­ers by pro­duc­ing such impor­tant pieces of pro­tec­tive equip­ment.”

Dr. Sides, assist­ed by the Bucks IU FAB LAB Coordinator Megan Boletta, set to work and in just a cou­ple days they were able to pro­duce seventy-five mask for St. Christopher’s.  Today, Dr. Sides took the time to per­son­al­ly dri­ve into Philadelphia to deliv­er and present them to the hospital’s Interim Chief Operating Officer (COO), Solomon Torres, FACHE.      

St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children is immense­ly grate­ful to the Bucks County Intermediate Unit and their FAB LAB for their fast response, inno­v­a­tive tech­nol­o­gy, and gen­er­ous dona­tion of PPE Face Shields.  “Their amaz­ing 3‑D print­ing tech­nol­o­gy and gen­eros­i­ty of spir­it warms our hearts,” said Solomon Torres, Interim COO. “Within a few short days of our request, they had fab­ri­cat­ed face shields that are crit­i­cal to pro­tect­ing the health of our employ­ees and patients.”

Dr. Mark Hoffman, Bucks IU Executive Director com­ment­ed that “Helping chil­dren is at the core of an Intermediate Unit’s mis­sion, and we are tru­ly grat­i­fied to be able to assist St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in this small way.”

In the spir­it of shar­ing, the Bucks IU’s PPE design instruc­tions are avail­able for oth­ers to use so that they may pro­duce just the head piece with a 3‑D print­er, or to make the whole face shield by using both a 3‑D print­er and a laser cut­ter.  If any­one is inter­est­ed in mak­ing only the head piece, the Bucks IU will take those and add the front clear pro­tec­tive pan­el to com­plete the entire face shield.  Anyone inter­est­ed in the details can con­tact Dr. Lindsey Sides, Bucks IU Supervisor of STEAM Education at STEAM@BucksIU.org or call her at 215–348-2940 Ext. 1460.