​Lateral Thinking and Collaborative Working | King's College Taunton

​Lateral Thinking and Collaborative Working in the Fight Against Covid-19

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Last week, after some impressive lateral thinking by Musgrove Park Hospital Ophthalmology (in Taunton), our Design Technology (DT) department was contacted and asked if they could manufacture a number of large breath shields for their microscopes.

These shields provide a physical barrier between the patient and eye doctor thereby reducing the chance of passing on COVID-19 should either person be infected.

Within a few hours of the hospital emailing over the templates, our DT technician Ross Friend placed an order for the necessary materials, and drew up the CAD files to produce a batch of samples on the DT laser cutter.

Later that same day the Ophthalmology department trialled the samples and after a minor modification to both shield variants, approval was given to manufacture the remainder.

By the end of the next day, the hospital department had extended breath shields installed on all their microscopes.

Commenting, Ross said: “It’s really great to be able to assist our health professionals in some way, even if it is only something thing like providing them with an additional level of Personal Protective Equipment. I’m proud to have done something to help.”

In recent days we’ve heard similar good news stories from schools up and down the country who are also doing their bit to help provide vital PPE for our frontline workers. We have since heard from Will R, one of our Sixth Form DT pupils, who is currently working on a 3D print prototype door handle* for Bournemouth Hospital – the idea being to create a handle that can be opened without needing to use your hands. We hope to provide more information on this in due course.



Haag-Streit Diagnostics have provided users of their slit lamp microscopes, (see fig 1) with the following safety bulletin.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and CDC on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) issued a set of guidelines for ophthalmologists caring for patients potentially infected with the virus. In line with these organizations, we recommend the use of breath shields in addition to face masks, goggles and other protective gear. In addition to the “Breath Protecting Shield” (Haag-Streit article number 7220738) we offer a template to create a larger breath shield.

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