The coronavirus pandemic has created so much uncertainty and most of us have never been through anything like this in our lifetime. The essential employees, including healthcare workers, grocery store workers, janitors, sanitation workers, police officers, firefighters and the list could go on, are really going above and beyond to keep our country running and take care of the rest of us.
That truly means the world to us here at 914 Smiles and we wanted to find a way that we could contribute. We donated surgical masks to the Westchester Medical Center but still wanted to do more after hearing harrowing stories from our friends who work in area ERs. Dr. Rishi Kothari, our Tarrytown orthodontist, has 3D printers that he uses to print our own 914 aligners, retainers and other appliances. Since our office is temporarily closed to help flatten the curve, Dr. Kothari decided to head into the lab and get to work!
After collaborating with others in Facebook groups run by doctors and dentists, Dr. Kothari recalibrated our software and 3D printers to make adaptors that are used to connect N95 filters to traditional 3M ventilator masks. As many of you have probably heard on the news, there is a severe shortage of N95 masks, which doctors, nurses, EMTs and other frontline responders need to protect themselves from contracting the coronavirus. N95 masks are respiratory protective devices that filter airborne particles, like the respiratory droplets that can spread the novel coronavirus. With the adaptor, a filter can be attached to the 3M 6000 or 7000 series ventilator masks, helping to keep our fellow healthcare workers safe and healthy.
We’re currently making 3D-printed mask adaptors and then distributing them directly to local frontline responders, including hospital workers like doctors and nurses, as well as EMTs. It’s a small way we can be of service to our colleagues. From the entire team at 914 Smiles, we thank all of the frontline responders from the bottom of our hearts.
We hope everyone can find little ways to help too. The most important thing we can all do to help is to stay at home as much as possible. If you have the means to contribute in other ways too, or if you need to get help for your own family, check out this article from NBC with some ideas for helping and finding resources if you’re struggling. Remember, we’re all in this together, so let’s try to spread some positivity and do what we can to take care of one another.