Medical supplies are becoming scarce for healthcare workers across the state. Proper protective masks are at the top of that list. But, the shortage has some in community are getting creative.
Dr. Sonny Spera and his team at Progressive Dental have started 3D printing N95 capacity masks to be sent to local hospitals.
"We're in a tough spot right now. We're shut down for our work and these people who are manning the medical facilities need our support, and plus, it's really good to be able to do something to help them," said Spera.
The masks have been approved, and will be available to UHS hospitals in Binghamton, Johnson City and Norwich. Progressive is working to bring them to Lourdes as well.
The N95 model is currently the only acceptable equipment to protect from the coronavirus.
"N95 masks are like a white spotted owl. You couldn’t find them. They were rare. So we were happy to help them to get some materials that they desperately need in the fight for or the battle against this virus," said Spera.
The mask can be cleaned and used more than once.
Progressive Dental recently purchased an additional 3D printer to expand their production. They also partnered with Binghamton University's biomedical department to ensure they function properly.
"I think it takes a little creativity, a lot of cooperation, a lot of collaboration and I think we can do amazing things and the old quote, if everybody does a little we can all do a lot," said Spera.
Progressive has already produced 12 masks.