Nike’s PPE Face Shield to Help Frontline Healthcare Workers in COVID-19 Crisis
Nike’s innovation, manufacturing and product teams have been working closely with health professionals at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) out of repurposed materials for footwear and apparel. The sportswear giant is directing its resources to create full-face shields and powered, air-purifying respirator (PAPR) lenses to protect against the novel coronavirus.
Based on OHSU’s existing face shield, Nike has developed a simple and efficient version of the full-face shield. Collar padding once destined for shoes is repurposed; cords originally set aside for apparel reconsidered; and most importantly, the TPU component of a Nike signature – the Nike air soles – reimagined.
According to Miko Enomoto, M.D., associate professor of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine, OHSU School of Medicine,
Without proper facial protection, healthcare workers are at a higher risk of contracting the virus, which could place substantial strain on the healthcare workforce in the months ahead…The full-face shields help protect healthcare workers’ faces and also help to prolong the length we can safely use a surgical or N95 mask. Nike’s generous response to the COVID-19 crisis helps to instill an added layer of confidence and support for healthcare workers, that we can safely carry out the jobs we were born to do.
TPU will be used to create new lenses for PAPR helmets. This apparatus is used in situations with the most airborne pathogen exposure as it is necessary to carry out the most critical procedures and care of infected patients. Nike’s PAPR lenses take the same TPU as the face masks and have joined sections to fit the stipulations of PAPR helmets.
While both shield and lens are a new output for Air MI, specialization in the custom extrusion of polyurethane film and sheet makes the facilities uniquely suited to serving this urgent need. Nike’s St. Charles, Missouri, facility has decades of experience in designing, developing and manufacturing an extensive range of TPU-based products.
To serve the current response, Air MI is rapidly adapting its capacities, while also adopting new production line procedures in keeping with rapidly-changing government guidelines.
The first shipment of Nike’s PPE face shield and PAPR lenses were delivered to OHSU on Friday, April 3, 2020. The brand will continue to pursue ways to further support the healthcare workers in their untiring efforts to support, heal and comfort global communities through the coronavirus crisis.