Inverness businesses kit out hospitals with "innovative", quick-to-replicate face masks to protect against coronavirus

Two Inverness companies are teaming up to meet the country’s urgent need for personal protective equipment (PPE).
Pawel de Sternberg Stojalowski of Aseptium models a Corran face shield.Pawel de Sternberg Stojalowski of Aseptium models a Corran face shield.
Pawel de Sternberg Stojalowski of Aseptium models a Corran face shield.

Aseptium, a medical decontamination equipment specialist, and tech consultancy 4c Engineering, both based at Highlands and Islands Enterprise’s Solasta House, will produce 1,000 “innovative” face shields to help protect local doctors and nurses during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The companies collaborated on “Project Corran” – taking the name of the Gaelic for crescent, the shape of the face shield when viewed from above – to design an effective product that could be robust, secure, comfortable and rapidly manufactured in bulk.

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The first 200 units of a 1,000-unit order have now been delivered to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness, after a prototype face shield was tested by intensive care and infection control staff last week.

Aseptium and 4c Engineering have made the design, which does not require 3D printing, freely available, along with full manufacturing guidance. The companies request only that the design is credited, modified designs have an equally open license and that manufacture is not-for-profit.

Wider adoption is already underway, as Lochgilphead-based Midton Engineering has taken the design, had it approved by hospitals in Oban and Mid Argyll and is now moving into manufacture.

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Peter MacDonald, director of 4c Engineering said: “Although national procurement of PPE has been progressing at pace, we were able to ensure that the ICU in Raigmore, our local hospital, was well provided with the first 1,000 Corran face-shields and as we’ve made [the design] open-source we hope that the lessons we’ve learned can be applied by makers across the country and beyond.”

Pawel de Sternberg Stojalowski of Aseptium added: “This project is a testimony to what a collective of engineers can achieve when they face a challenge together. It's all about community and collaboration.”

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