MercyOne partners with UNI to help meet PPE demand

MercyOne partners with UNI to help meet PPE demand

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WATERLOO -- The Additive Manufacturing Center at the University of Northern Iowa used 3D printing technology to produce 30 hoses for powered air-purifying respirators (PAPR) for MercyOne Northeast Iowa that have been hard to obtain due to high demand during response to the novel coronavirus.

PAPR is part of the personal protective equipment for health care workers helping patients with COVID-19.

"We had an urgent need for these hoses as they were in short supply around the country. The team at UNI really helped us out by taking our existing hose and reverse engineering what we needed," said Mary Jo Kavalier, site administrator of MercyOne Cedar Falls Medical Center.

The team at UNI's Additive Manufacturing Center (AMC) took the specifications from the existing hose and programmed the part into their computer systems to print new items. "We're happy the equipment and expertise at the UNI Additive Manufacturing Center could be used to help protect the courageous medical workers who are working hard to keep us all safe," said AMC director Jerry Thiel. "It was a team effort - administrators, staff and students at UNI all played a role in providing these parts for MercyOne."

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Related to this story

During a phone conversation with a nurse, a MercyOne patient revealed she was in jeopardy of running out of her medications. Normally the patient would pick up her medications from a local pharmacy, but the COVID-19 pandemic changed that.

Black Hawk County health officials said the county was reporting 622 coronavirus infections as of Thursday, over 200 more cases than the state was reporting Thursday for the county, with the vast majority of them linked to a recently-closed meatpacking plant.

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