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Coronavirus Guide

Information for health professionals and the public in the Las Vegas Valley

About this Page:

The purpose of this page is to summarize current events, activities, and efforts that are being made in the global, national, and local level to assist with the COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Shortage. The page is intended to help you navigate open source designs that are available to the Maker community. Please consult health care professionals in your medical community prior to making, prototyping, or donating PPE. 

DISCLAIMER: Unless otherwise explicitly stated, the contents of this page is are NOT sanctioned by UNLV, nor the University Libraries. Please contact your local medical community leaders to determine what equipment that is needed and what kind of equipment can be accepted. For more information on how to donate, please go to Donation Resources section of this guide. 

About the Shortage:

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare professionals are having difficulty accessing the needed PPE to provide patient care. As PPE supplies are stressed, running low, or absent, the CDC has released optimization strategies for healthcare professionals. These strategies are typically only considered during severe PPE shortages.

For more information regarding PPE crisis recommendations, please consult:

How are Makers contributing?

In the midst of the COVID-19 PPE Shortage, makers have put their skills, machines, and resources to use in order to contribute homemade PPE to healthcare providers. The following section provides links to articles regarding to how makers have been able to assist. 

Maker Equipment & Technology

3D Printing Resources:

The following links are to open source 3D Print files (typically in an .stl, .3mf, or gcode format.). These items are intended to provide access to potential PPE that could be used as a last resort in a crisis. These items are NOT medical-grade substitutes for medical use PPE. 

It is recommended to begin your search by visiting the National Institutes of Health (NIH) 3D Print Exchange. Prototypes in this resource are able to be submit for Testing and Clinical Review.  

Please be mindful that print times, results, and conditions may be subject to the hardware and software used. 

Sewing & Textile Resources:

The following links are to open source sewing patterns or videos that instruct on how to make cloth-based PPE. These items are NOT a substitute for N95 Masks. They are intended to comply with the CDC recommendations regarding the use of cloth face coverings

Laser Cutting & Etching Resources:

The following links are to open source laser cutting files.

Donation Resources

How Can I Help?

If you are looking to assist with the PPE shortage, here are ways you can get involved or help:

  • Make a financial donation: Be careful when selecting where to donate.
  • Donate resourcesMasks, goggles, raw materials that are also experiencing a shortage (elastic, plastics). Some locations are accepting opened PPE.
  • Make items: Create homemade masks, shields, reduced contact items for high-touch areas. Donate them to healthcare professionals. Consider donating them to friends and neighbors to enable medical grade PPE to go to health care processionals. 
  • CONTINUE to follow Social Distancing Guidelines: It is admirable to want to donate and assist with the PPE Shortage however, please do not risk your own health nor the health of others. Ensure that you are able to contribute while still adhering social distancing guidelines. 

Where do I Start?

Click on the links below to address your donation ability or need:

Considerations:

Before donating PPE, please consider some of the following factors:

  • Does the location you are donating to need the PPE?
  • What type of PPE would be most beneficial for them?
  • What are the preferences of the healthcare workers that you are donating to? (ex: Face Shields, face masks, etc.)
  • Has your area been disinfected? Are there any greater risks for cross contamination in your workspace area?
  • Are there any reasonable sterilization or disinfection measures you can take to 
  • Homemade and opened donations: Can the location receiving the donation accept homemade or opened donations?

Sterilization & Disinfection

About:

Use this section to inform yourself about sterilization and cleaning methods recommended for PPE during the COVID-19 PPE crisis and shortage. This section includes cleaning tips and research that has been conducted on the reliability of using Instant Pots as makeshift autoclaves.

CDC: Strategies to Optimize PPE and Equipment

Decontamination and Reuse of Filtering Facepiece Respirators

Consolidated Sterilization Systems (CSS, autoclave manufacturer)

COVID-19 Pandemic: Face Mask Disinfection & Sterilization for Viruses

​Pressure Cooker Sterilization:

Instant Pot: Who knew that Instant Pot can provide scientific-grade sterilization? (Actually, We Did)

Assessment and verification of commercially available pressure cookers for laboratory sterilization

Autoclaving of Syringes in Pressure Cookers

In the News:

The following news articles provide current events in the United States regarding the PPE Shortage.

Local - Las Vegas, NV:

The following news articles provide current events in the greater Las Vegas, Nevada area regarding the PPE Shortage.

Mayra Corn, MLIS
UME Liaison Librarian & Technology Manager
UNLV Health Sciences Library

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