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VA Produces 3D Face Shields for Clinical Care

Testing on the fully assembled 3D printed face sheild produced by the VA Assistive Technology lab in Richmond, Virginia

Assistive Technology Team perform hazard tests on the locally produced face shields to insure these shields are safe for clinical use.

By Melissa Oliver
Monday, April 27, 2020

In early March 2020 the Central Virginia VA Health Care System Assistive Technology Program, located at the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia, was contacted by an Emergency Department (ED) Physician who had been experimenting with 3D printing a face shield at home.

“He asked our AT Design Team if they could design something better and faster for the hospital” according to Melissa Oliver, Program Coordinator for Assistive Technology. “From that point the Assistive Technology team worked with Incident Command including Infection Disease physicians, Safety Manager and leadership on approving the production of the face shields.“

The Assistive Technology (AT) design team then developed 3 prototypes and received feedback from the ED physicians and Incident Command.  After some modifications, the laser cut version was selected by leadership for the AT Team to produce and assembly. 

To meet clinical and safety standards the AT Team performed hazard tests of the face shield as required by VA and the National Institutes of Health. After successful completion and review of these tests the Central Virginia VA Health Care System Face Shield received confirmation these locally produced shields meet FDA standards under existing regulations or guidance for clinical use. 

In early April 2020 the AT Team along with volunteers from Richmond Polytrauma/TBI teams have produced and packaged over 1,000 face shields for Central Virginia VA Health Care System, 500 for Hampton VAMC and they now are charged with producing and packaging 5,000 for VA Supply Distribution Center.


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