COVID-19 : How To DIY Your Own Face Shields!

Face shields are important personal protective equipment (PPE) that protect healthcare professionals while they perform procedures on patients.

Unfortunately, face shields have either run out, or are running critically low, in many healthcare facilities.

So here is an easy way for healthcare workers and volunteers to DIY and even mass produce large quantities of cheap, disposable face shields!

COVID-19 : How To DIY Your Own Face Shields!

 

Face Shields : The Need To DIY

The shortage of supplies during the COVID-19 crisis have inspired medical professionals to come up with their own DIY PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).

It was said that one of the first DIY PPE was a face shield created by Chinese healthcare workers out of water bottles!

Recommended : China Just Sent Donald Trump These Face Shields!

Man wearing N95 respirator and water bottle at Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital

 

DIY Face Shields : The MDA NZ DIY Method!

Fortunately, our Malaysian healthcare professionals do not have to resort to up-cycling used water bottles!

Dr. Tan Sock Hooi, together with her Malaysian Dental Association Northern Zone team, will show you how to mass produce cheap and comfortable face shields.

What You Will Require

These is what Dr. Tan and her team recommends :

  • Surgical spirit / 2% sodium hypochlorite (Clorox) / Sanitising agents (70% alcohol or more)
  • A4 plastic sheets (make sure they are clear, not matte)

Clear plastic sheets

  • Paper (if you want to print messages of encouragement)
  • Sponge strips – cut to 25 x 3 x 3 cm / 20 x 3 x 2.5 cm
  • Rounded corner punch
  • Paper hole puncher
  • UHU glue, or similar types of adhesives
  • Strap material
    – either thick rubber band 17-18 cm in length, or
    – elastic band
  • Box cutter, stapler and masking / electrical tape
  • Gloves to avoid smearing / contaminating the face shields

If you have limited supplies, you can make do with :

  • Surgical spirit / 2% sodium hypochlorite (Clorox) / Sanitising agents (70% alcohol or more)
  • A4 plastic sheets (make sure they are clear, not matte)
  • Sponge strips – cut to 25 x 3 x 3 cm / 20 x 3 x 2.5 cm
  • Scissors, box cutter, stapler and masking / electrical tape
  • UHU glue, or similar types of adhesives
  • Strap material
    – either thick rubber band 17-18 cm in length, or
    – elastic band

Volunteer Cleanliness

Before you start, it is important for you to prepare yourself.

  1. You should NOT participate if you are sick, whether with COVID-19 symptoms or otherwise.
  2. You should NOT participate if you have had contact with any COVID-19 positive patient.
  3. You should NOT participate if if you have travelled overseas in the last 14 days.
  4. You should have a good shower, and wash your hair, before participating.
  5. After your shower, dry yourself and wear clean clothes.
  6. Make sure you put on a surgical mask properly, and it must be left on at all times.
  7. Minimise talking while working on the face shield.
  8. Wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds, before proceeding.

Workstation Preparation

Before you start, it is important to prepare your workplace, to ensure that the face shields are hygienic and safe to use.

  1. Wipe your table top with a disinfectant – anything with 2% sodium hypochlorite (like Clorox) or 70% alcohol or more will do
  2. Disinfect your instruments – ruler, scissor, pen knife, etc

Creating The DIY Face Shields

Here are the steps for the MDA NZ method on creating their DIY face shields :

A. With Rubber Band Strap

  1. Take out a plastic sheet and identify one long edge as the top.
  2. Use the paper hole puncher to punch a hole on each side of the plastic sheet, approximately 2.5 to 3 cm from the top.
    It is important for the holes to be located slightly below the sponge strip, to prevent the face shield from flaring out in use
    Tip : You can stack many plastic sheets and punch holes through them in one go.
  3. Round off the corners of the plastic sheet using the rounded corner punch (highly recommended), or scissors.

Rounded corner punch

  1. If you printed words of encouragement, paste the message onto the sponge strip with adhesive.
  2. Liberally apply adhesive onto the message and the sponge strip.
  3. Flip the sponge strip and press it against the top of the plastic sheet.
  4. Leave the glue to set.
  5. Insert the rubber band and tied off both ends with a double knot, making sure that the knot is bigger than the punch hole.

B. With Elastic Band Strap

  1. Round off the corners of the plastic sheet using the rounded corner punch (highly recommended), or scissors.

Rounded corner punch 02

  1. If you printed words of encouragement, paste the message onto the sponge strip with adhesive.
  2. Liberally apply adhesive onto the message and the sponge strip.
  3. Flip the sponge strip and press it against the top of the plastic sheet.
  4. Leave the glue to set.
  5. Staple the elastic band to both sides of the plastic sheet, just below the sponge strip.
    It is important for the strap to be affixed slightly below the sponge strip, to prevent the face shield from flaring out in use.
  6. Use masking or electrical tape to cover the staples, to prevent injury to the user.

Inspection + Sanitisation

  1. Inspect the face shield and make sure it is not smeared with glue, or your fingerprints (if you are not wearing gloves)

Inspecting The Face Shields

  1. Sanitise the face shield with surgical spirit, or any sanitising agents with 70% alcohol or more
    Bonus : Surgical spirit will remove any smeared glue as well as fingerprints!

Cleaning The Face Shield

  1. Pack the face shield into a box before delivering them to healthcare workers.

If you are unable to sanitise your face shields, make sure you inform your recipients so they can sanitise them before using.

So there you have it – cheap and easy-to-make DIY face shields, courtesy of Dr. Tan Sock Hooi and her Malaysian Dental Association Northern Zone team!

Completed DIY face shields

 

COVID-19 : How To Keep Safe!

Here are a few simple steps to stay safe from COVID-19 :

  • Avoid suspected cases or disease hotpots, like hospitals, if possible!
  • Avoid public events and crowds
  • Keep our hands clean with soap or hand sanitiser
  • Keep our home, office, vehicles, etc. clean
  • If you need to wear a surgical mask, make sure you put it on and remove it properly!
  • Wash your food with water (and soap) after purchase and before preparation

Recommended : COVID-19 : Hand Sanitiser or Soap? Which Is Better?

 

Recommended Reading

 

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