Staff Report

Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital medical staff who are caring for Covid-19 patients are now to able to use the first face shields produced in collaboration with engineers from UCSB and local companies.

A PAPR is the recommended safety device for the protection of each caregiver in the room for all aerosolizing procedures. This includes all intubations, extubations, bronchoscopies or other procedures that are invasive to the airway. 

With COVID-19, these aerosolizing procedures pose the highest risk for Cottage clinicians.  The PAPR has a fan in the helmet portion that pulls air from the room and runs it through a HEPA filter to remove more than 99 % of airborne pathogens, thus protecting the caregiver.

The design of the PAPR face shield is an intricate process as it requires a rigid plastic face shield attached to a silicone gasket under the chin to allow the shield to fit close to the head. The adhesive must hold the pieces together without perforating the protective shielding qualities of both materials.

Cottage clinicians worked with a coalition of local entities to create the face shields: Eric McFarland, MD, PhD and a Chemical Engineering professor at UCSB is a former Emergency Department physician at Cottage; Matt Silva of Ventura, Implantech and local engineer and entrepreneur, Ray Karam.

“This has been an amazing collaboration and we are very thankful to our partners for their dedication and hard work,” said Lisa Moore, Vice President of Clinical Services at Cottage Health. “The new face shields will allow our clinical teams to safely perform procedures using the industry’s best practices.”

To date, Cottage has received 188 face shields to protect medical staff, and 800 additional face shields are expected by April 20.