O&P Community Rallies to Produce PPE
Jay Rosen, a web developer for OPIE Software in Gainesville, has also been contributing to the efforts. He joined a group of local 3D-printing enthusiasts who wanted to help find a solution to shortages. The group has been working with medical professionals and universities to discover the best design.
Rosen, who is also an artist, had sculpted artwork masks and prosthetics before the healthcare crisis. He became interested in 3D printing when he learned of its possibilities to help in the crisis and joined the group Gainesville Makers Against COVID. Now he’s devoting himself to helping fill the gap in safety gear for healthcare professionals. He hopes others in the O&P world will join him.
“There’s a lot of O&P clinics out there with a printer,” he says. “With the O&P industry, we try to help people. This isn’t only our patients we want to help. It’s everybody.”
Toward the end of March, Rosen was shifting from 3D printing masks to learning how to sew them. A University of Florida anesthesiology professor had recently patented a design using the sterile wrapping that is normally used to surround surgical instrument trays. The material, which is widely available at hospitals, is typically discarded. Tests show that the masks block 99.9 percent of particulates, says Bruce Spiess, MD, inventor of the masks.
Rosen hopes these new masks will be a game-changer.
“I had bought all of these 3D-printer supplies and then realized I’d be sewing,” he says. “It would be great if there was something we could print out and save the world. It feels like a gold rush and everyone is trying to strike gold. With these masks, I feel like we struck gold.”
Rosen said he’s been impressed with the way that a community of people has stepped up to help.
“It’s cool to see everyone coming together,” he says. “When we started with this, it was my community from college, and now we’re interacting with scientists and medical professionals. We’re all keeping our distances but we’re all sharing information.”