Cook Children's Home Health Makes Face Shields for those on the COVID-19 Front Line
Typically known for creating braces and helmets for young patients, the orthotics and prosthetics team at Cook Children’s Home Health is turning their talents to help doctors and nurses on the front line of the COVID-19 fight.
They’re now making face shields to be used by clinical staff at Cook Children’s who are caring for patients with COVID-19 symptoms.
“We looked at the situation we’re facing, in the community and internally, and thought this is a great opportunity for us to get engaged,” said Brady Gendke, Vice President of Operations at Cook Children’s Home Health. “Right now, we’re producing about 20 face shields a day, which will help with some of the more intense COVID-19 isolation procedures that our doctors and nurses will be doing.”
With the help of a high-powered 3-D printer, the team is assembling the shields by hand. They hope to produce up to 200, which will be distributed to doctors and nurses at Cook Children’s Medical Center. Since the shields are made entirely of plastic, they can be properly cleaned and re-used, eliminating the risk of running out.
“It’s very important (to produce these shields) because you can help people survive and protect their health,” said Kirill Kirieiev, manager of the orthotics and prosthetics lab at Cook Children’s Home Health. “Then they can continue serving our patients and feel more protected. If we can accomplish this goal and make their life a little bit safer, that’s most important.”
The Home Health team is also creating cloth masks for Cook Children’s staff and visitors. Working in an assembly line, employees are stitching about 200 face masks a day. Earlier this week, Cook Children’s announced a new policy requiring staff, patients and visitors to wear masks at the medical center and other Cook Children’s locations. The masks produced by the Home Health department are being distributed for this purpose.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to give back in a different way,” said Gendke. “Home Health is often on the end of the spectrum as kids go home from the medical center. This is an opportunity for us to help kids going into the medical center, as well as other staff that are engaged in patient care.”
“I really appreciate that I can help people,” said Kirieiev. “That’s very important. We can improve our community and help our patients, and now doctors too. I’m really proud to be part of the system.”