Thursday morning, Saldana delivered 100 devices to Emory University Hospital. Researchers have also sent shields to Grady Memorial Hospital, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Piedmont Hospital.
Emory Healthcare received its first shipment — 3,000 shields with 500 reusable frames — last week after testing some of the prototypes.
“I’ve had some people almost in tears because they were touched when Georgia Tech offered us PPEs (personal protective equipment),” said Kari Love, infection prevention director at Emory Healthcare.
Love said the new shields are sturdier and easy to clean.
“The disposable ones would break down after wiping them down a couple of times,” she said. “It’s nice to have something that’s going to last. We will be able to continue to use them as the weeks pass.”
Saldana said Georgia Tech is partnering with manufacturers to increase face shield production to 150,000 per week.
“When we started realizing (the scale required), we had to bring in companies to do that,” he said.
Saldana said Georgia Tech researchers are also focused on finding other ways they can help local hospitals, including creating a retrofit ventilator and incubator boxes which serve as a protective barrier between patients and medical staff in the operating room and intensive care unit.