By Jay Baker
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the US, immediate attention highlighted the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers. The problem continued to escalate; frontline workers in my local community and throughout the country struggled to protect themselves from this virus.
As an inventor and the president of Jamestown Plastics, a family-owned business which has been manufacturing custom plastic and packaging solutions for over 60 years, I knew we could help. We were determined to develop better protection that provided relief for healthcare workers on the frontlines of the pandemic. Together, we created the TrueHero™ Extreme Coverage Face Shield. Our company donated thousands of shields to healthcare workers; presently, we are working with hospitals and healthcare facilities to include TrueHero in their PPE supply.
Designed with the Healthcare Worker in Mind
To develop the best face shield possible for the healthcare community, we consulted with medical professionals to understand their needs and expectations. We heard three main concerns that we wanted to address in our product:
- Lack of full protection of the face, including the eyes. Because protection is needed from all angles, TrueHero has a flanged perimeter, along with coverage over the forehead and under the chin.
- Fogging of glasses and other face shields, causing impaired vision. To prevent fogging, the TrueHero is designed to allow heat and moisture to be drawn out from the inside. Also, the spacious design provides ample room for anyone who wears eyeglasses.
- Long-term cost of buying disposable face shields can add up. Traditional disposable face shields are typically used for one day. TrueHero is a reusable face shield that provides a lower overall cost of protection than what many healthcare facilities are currently experiencing.
In addition, TrueHero face shields can be modified easily with scissors, allowing for individuals to customize to their perfect, comfortable fit.
David Bleck, an RN from Strong Memorial Hospital stated, “They cover your entire face, including your N95 and head caps, keeping us safe and helping to preserve PPE. An added bonus is they don’t fog and can be wiped down in between patients.” The preservation of N95 masks is crucial; some healthcare workers are still experiencing a lack of supplies. Healthcare workers tell us the TrueHero makes them feel more comfortable when providing direct care to their patients, while also making it easier to breathe compared to other shields.
Protection for Patients
As the TrueHero face shield continues to be used by healthcare workers, it can also be used for patients, who are urged, if not required, to wear a face covering. The ability to see the patients’ faces makes it easier for providers to assess them, so opting for a clear, plastic shield may be beneficial. With patients now attending appointments alone, communication plays an even more critical role. Face shields allow for a patient’s voice to be clear and audible in comparison to a cloth mask, which may cause the voice to be more muffled.
TrueHero face shields should be considered by healthcare executives. If added to their existing PPE, the results would be another positive layer of defense against this deadly virus.
Jay Baker is CEO of Jamestown Plastics Inc., an ISO-certified company that has been in business since 1958. It has decades of expertise in plastics manufacturing for some of the top medical device and consumer companies in the world.