A medical and engineering task force at Duke University has designed and created a protective respirator using 3D printing to help protect doctors when they're treating patients who are thought to have COVID-19.
The design for the surgical hood is called 3D SHIELD (3D-printed Surgical Helmet IntakE manifoLD). According to a press release, the engineers behind the design turned a surgical helmet — which normally uses room air — into a powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) one, which uses filtered air instead of room air.
"Basically, (a PAPR) is the highest level of protection we can offer our providers, particularly those that are intubating patients," said Eric Richardson, associate professor of the practice in biomedical engineering, in the press release about the project.
With personal protective equipment (PPE) gear in short supply, Duke has made its design available as an open-source design for others to 3D print their own versions.
The protective respirator was tested by a HEPA certification company before being used. It's currently in use by Duke Health doctors as they treat people with suspected COVID-19.