Murray State Engineering Producing, Donating Medical Face Shields
Murray State University’s Institute of Engineering joins the many organizations worldwide who are pitching in to support healthcare workers while the novel coronavirus continues to spread.
Engineering Graphics and Design Program Coordinator Dr. Rudy Ottway and student worker Clay Doron, a junior majoring in the program, are using 3D printers and an open-source 3D computer-aided drafting model to produce face shield headbands. Coupled with a snapped-on plastic shield and surgical mask, this solution offers vital protection to area healthcare workers for little cost.
Dr. Danny Claiborne, chair of the Institute of Engineering, said the shields typically cost approximately $30 apiece to purchase, but utilizing the 3D technology allows the department to produce the masks for less than a dollar apiece. The institute expects to complete 300 personal protective equipment (PPE) apparatuses by early next week to benefit healthcare workers at Murray-Calloway County Hospital (MCCH) and Murray State University Health Services.
“The Institute of Engineering is honored to donate this gear to those who are in need,” Claiborne said. “We’re truly all in this together, and we want to support our community any way we can.”
Murray State University Health Services Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bob Hughes said his department received most of the equipment they needed from the Calloway County Health Department, except for the face shields.
“Murray State University stepped up and provided those when we needed them most. We cannot thank them enough at this very important time for being there for us,” he said. “We are all in this together.”
MCCH Vice President for Institutional Development Keith Travis said the hospital is grateful for the university’s contribution in battling the health pandemic.
“This effort helps us replenish our reserves and adapt to this ever-changing situation, all while protecting our doctors, nurses and staff as they interact with patients,” he said.
Murray State University President Dr. Bob Jackson said, "I am very proud of our faculty, staff and students in the Institute of Engineering who have responded to the needs of our local medical providers. There is a tremendous shortage of personal protective equipment and we are pleased to do our part during this period of uncertainty."