In yet another action aimed at tackling the Covid-19 pandemic, the Laboratory of Technological Innovation in Health (LAIS) has been producing facial protection masks for use by medical teams that deal directly with patients infected with the coronavirus. The production has been carried out in partnership with Void 3D, a startup from Rio Grande do Sul incubated at Instituto Metrópole Digital (IMD). The delivery of equipment took place on Monday (30).

According to researcher Danilo Nagem, who is leading this partnership, LAIS provided equipment and supplies for the production of the equipment, which will be delivered to Hospital Universitário Onofre Lopes (HUOL). Altogether there will be 60 masks that will be delivered next week.

According to the researcher, production was already part of LAIS planning, but the opportunity arose to join forces with Void 3D. “We believe that by joining forces, we will be able to obtain an even better result for the whole society, in facing the pandemic”, said Professor Danilo Nagem, who is also Head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Coordinator of the Laboratory of Assistive Technologies at LAIS.

With the entry of LAIS, there was an increase of 30% in production, which was directed mainly to help university hospitals, but which will also be directed to other health centers, according to Void 3D. With this, the need for equipment for university hospitals begins to be met, since these units are not short of equipment. “We need to preserve the health of the professionals who are providing care to patients, with quality equipment. And LAIS has expertise in material prototyping. We are using this characteristic in order to face the pandemic ”, said professor Ricardo Valentim, LAIS coordinator.

For the superintendent of HUOL, Stênio Gomes da Silveira, the delivery reinforces the safety of health professionals who work at the unit. “The delivery of the masks is important because HUOL is a highly complex care hospital, where many invasive procedures take place, with almost direct contacts with patients. We have anesthesiologists who work very close to the patients’ faces, that is, numerous procedures that require direct contact from the patient to the professional. And in a circumstance like this, we gradually ended up losing staff due to this pandemic. This facial protection becomes a very important element to maintain the integrity of the team that is working at the hospital. ”

About the equipment
The face protection mask is a transparent physical barrier that prevents infectious droplets that are thrown when speaking, coughing or sneezing, for example, from contaminating the health professional.
According to Jane Dantas, Jane Dantas, a nurse at the Division of People Management and Research Management and Technological Innovation Sector at HUOL, healthcare professionals should wear a face shield when in contact with patients with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 as they offer better coverage of the face, protecting the eyes, nose and mouth from infectious droplets, thus reducing the possibility of transmission of the new coronavirus from the patient to the healthcare professional.

The nurse also stressed that if the health professional is going to perform an aerosol generation procedure on a confirmed or suspected patient with Covid-19, an N95 mask should be used in conjunction with the face protection mask. “An additional benefit is to prevent the professional from touching your face, and with that take the virus that may be in your hands close to your airways”, concluded Jane Dantas.