Canadian Plastics

McMaster University Hospital partners with Printex Transparent Packaging for new plastic face shield

The goal was to provide a better face shield with more protection for ultrasound technologists.

February 5, 2021   Canadian Plastics

The ultrasound team at Hamilton Health Sciences’ Hamilton General Hospital developed an extended face shield in partnership with the McMaster Manufacturing and Research Institute and Printex Transparent Packaging for better protection against COVID-19. Left to right: Dr. Michael Colapinto, radiologist lead for ultrasound, and ultrasound technologists Lisa Billone, Kaylana Parente, and Sarah Allred. Photo Credit: CNW Group/Printex Transparent Packaging

Most developments in face shields these days have to do preventing the spread of COVID-19 – most, but not all.

The Diagnostic imaging team at McMaster University Hospital, in Hamilton, Ont., was concerned about the ultrasound technologists’ lack of protection while sitting to the side of patients. Regular face shields exposed the sides of their face and neck as the patients were lying down and looking up at them, and they wanted a better face shield with more protection.

The McMaster Manufacturing Institute (MMRI) set about designing an oversized face shield to protect the chin, neck, and sides of the head. When the prototype was proposed to the Hamilton Health Science (HHS) PPE Task Force for approval, it turned out that the anesthesia and medical reprocessing team at HHS was interested in similar protection.

Brian Herechuk, director of quality and value improvement at HHS, helped get the extended face shield project moving along. “I reached out to one of our vendors, Printex Transparent Packaging, who were already providing standard face shields for us and asked if this was something they would consider producing,” Herechuck said. “They jumped right on it [and] developed a prototype within a day of me sending them the drawings.”

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Dave Tassé, sales manager at Burlington, Ont.-based Printex, was eager to get involved. “I’m a Hamilton guy – my wife works in a nursing home, so this project was really exciting to me,” he said. “At the time we got the request, we were designing a new face shield for children. I noticed we could utilize some innovations from that project and put it into the extended face shield for HHS. I asked Bryan if he liked it, and he said yes. So, we used that innovation, with slight modifications to their design, and brought the second prototype to HHS and that was it. We had a new comfortable, lightweight, extended coverage, clear plastic face shield ready for production.”

According to Steven Remilli, a project manager with MMRI, the project is a good example of collaboration between various areas of expertise. “This really shone a light on how groups of experts in their fields can work together very quickly,” he said. “Everything came together so naturally.”


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