Washington University medical students design reusable face shields

Third-year medical students are developing reusable face shields to help protect health-care workers during the coronavirus pandemic. On Tuesday, the first day of an elective class on COVID-19 response, students discussed the shortage of personal protective equipment and felt inspired by a call-to-action from Victoria J. Fraser, MD, the Adolphus Busch Professor of Medicine and head of the Department of Medicine and other WUSM and BJC leaders.

Shortly after class, eight students, led by Katie Jordan, began designing prototype reusable face shields and visiting local businesses for supplies such as plastic sheeting, cushion foam, elastic fabric and weatherproofing seal. Students then tested the face shields on faculty and medical trainees for usability. By Thursday, the students began the process to evaluate mass-producing large numbers of reusable face masks at low cost, funded by the Department of Medicine. “The students jumped right in with enthusiasm, creativity and innovation,” Fraser said. “We are incredibly proud and grateful for their efforts.”