Students at a Cork secondary school, who have been helping to create visors for use by healthcare workers, have now also modified 10,000 masks for use by staff at Cork University Hospital (CUH).
Last month, two pupils at Kinsale Community School; Oisin Coyle who is in 5th year and Shane Collins who is in transition year, collaborated with staff to produce visors for the medical profession, in an initiative that has proved very successful.
At the time, they were using five 3D printers to help them to print parts for the visors.
According to Mr Fergal McCarthy, Principal at the school, the project has grown significantly in the last month, with a printing farm now established using 27 3D printers.
Mr McCarthy said they were approached in recent weeks for assistance from Cork University Hospital about modifying masks which they had received which he said did not have “an adequate seal”.
After considering a number of options, it was eventually decided to make two key modifications to the masks to help address the issue.
This included providing a strap to allow the mask to be anchored on the head rather than the ears.
Brendan Barry, caretaker at the school, had also proposed replacing the wire bridge on the mask with a stainless steel cable tie, which Mr McCarthy said “ultimately resolved the issue”.
After a meeting with a member of the team from the infectious diseases department at the hospital to confirm the design would work, students set about a project to modify 10,000 masks for the hospital.
Less than two weeks later, the school expects to complete this work today (Tuesday, May 5th), and will hand over the last batch of modified masks to the hospital this evening.
Mr McCarthy said great credit was due not only to the team at the school but to CUH who entrusted them with the work and who “recognised the ingenuity and compassion in the school.”
The contribution of the team at the school is not finished yet, and in addition to continuing to make visors, they will take delivery of another 6,000 items of PPE tomorrow (Wednesday) which will also be modified.