Home News Featured News New face shield prototype hopes to replace goggles and ease health workers'...

New face shield prototype hopes to replace goggles and ease health workers’ pain

The prototype is made with a clear plastic shield supported by a spectacle frame, an elastic band or a strip of Velcro.




- Advertisement -

Singapore – A new version of the protective goggles has been created to help ease the pressure and pain that healthcare professionals face when working at the frontline for extended periods.

Senior consultant and clinical director of the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID), Dr Shawn Vasoo has created a face shield prototype in hopes of replacing the current version of protective goggles which is quite uncomfortable to wear, reported The Straits Times.

According to Ms Lin Ying, 38, in her 16 years on the job as a nurse at the NCID, the “goggles and masks, after prolonged use, put pressure on the nose bridge and can cause pain.” The veteran added that the lenses also tend to fog up, which reduce visibility for the user and could even lead to cases of giddiness.

Treating patients diagnosed with various infectious diseases, including the most recent Covid-19, means healthcare workers are continually wearing protective gear to ensure their safety at work. “We are discouraged from taking off the goggles until we leave the patient’s room. Even if the fogging is very bad, you just have to bear with it,” shared Ms Lin.

- Advertisement -

In response to the increasing necessity of a better alternative, Dr Vasoo, together with staff from the Centre for Healthcare Innovation and Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) produced a new face shield using 3D-printing technology.

The prototype was designed after a previous version of face shields was used during the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic in 2003. It is made with a clear plastic shield supported by a spectacle frame, an elastic band or a strip of Velcro. The design is less constricting compared to the goggles yet still protects the wearer during high-risk procedures.

“When people are uncomfortable with the equipment they use, they start adjusting it, which might lead to contamination, and pose a certain risk to the healthcare worker,” said Dr Vasoo. “During the Sars period, we lost some healthcare colleagues. There were a number who passed away,” he added. “So we take staff safety very seriously.”

It is the goal of the prototypes to diversify the source of personal protective equipment (PPE) given that the current visors, which is used as an alternative to the goggles, are imported. To limit the chances of a shortage in supply of PPE, some must be produced in-house.

“With this outbreak, it is quite apparent that all these personal protective equipment are in demand worldwide,” Dr Vasoo noted. “We want to make sure that we diversify our options. Having more options is always good,” he added.

The prototypes were revealed to the media at the Centre for Healthcare Innovation’s Living Lab on February 13, Thursday and are expected to be pilot tested in three stations within the hospital starting February 21.

Facebook power-user and CEO of Temasek Holdings, Ho Ching, shared the news of the prototypes and added the importance of heightened protection for healthcare workers in a facility capable of containing infectious diseases.

For Covid-19, the risk of droplets or aerosol formation requires work to be done in a biosafety level 2 facility with a level 2 biosafety cabinet, said Ms Ho. “In SG, we have up to BSL 3 facilities, with possibly BSL3+ biosafety cabinets,” she added.

The highest BSL is level 4, which countries like Germany and the United States have, to address the most dangerous pathogens like Ebola, shared Ms Ho.

Under the USA CDV guidelines for handling virus samples is for staff to shield the eyes and face, either with goggles…

Posted by HO Ching on Thursday, 13 February 2020

Read related:

Coronavirus front line worker cancels wedding reception, struggles with daily commute as people shout at him in the train

Follow us on Social Media

Send in your scoops to news@theindependent.sg 

- Advertisement -

Cap of 5 people for social gatherings and household visits; Lawrence Wong warns of possibility of another circuit breaker

Singapore -- Octets out, quintets in. Social gatherings will be limited to five people, no more groups of eight. New restrictions are coming into place from May 8 to May 30 to curb the Covid-19 spike in Singapore. The new restrictions will take...

MOH asks hospitals to delay non-urgent surgeries to conserve resources for Covid patients

Singapore— With Covid-19 cases rising, the Ministry of Health (MOH) asked hospitals on Monday (May 3) to delay non-urgent surgeries and give priority to the treatment of Covid patients. In a statement, MOH said it is "working closely with all public and...

5 KTPH staff disciplined for ‘error’ that led to unnecessary treatment of breast cancer patients 

Singapore—Five staff members of Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) have been disciplined for a laboratory incident that led to inaccurate test results and unnecessary treatment for some breast cancer patients. The staff members were disciplined for "not adequately performing their duties and...
Follow us on Social Media

Send in your scoops to news@theindependent.sg