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From the court to the clinic: Nike delivers first shipment of custom PPE to OHSU

Durable full-face shields, PAPR lenses allow health care workers to safely combat COVID-19
woman in medical scrubs wearing a full face shield
Callie Beckwith tries out a new face shield produced by Nike. The company designed, developed and donated specialized PPE to help support health care workers fighting the novel coronavirus. (OHSU/Kristyna Wentz-Graff)

When frontline health care workers and emergency responders across the world voiced concern about a dwindling supply of personal protective equipment, or PPE, due to COVID-19, Nike answered the call.

Extending its innovation beyond athletic footwear, apparel and equipment, the Oregon-based company pivoted, and is developing and donating PPE to help support Oregon health care workers fighting the novel coronavirus.

On Friday, April 3, Nike delivered its first shipment of full-face shields and powered, air-purifying respirator, or PAPR, lenses to OHSU frontline workers, such as Miko Enomoto, M.D., who, through medical advice and prototype testing, helped to develop them.

two women, both wearing white respirator helmets with plastic face shields, smiling and talking to one another
Heidi Paulson, R.N., B.S.N., left, and Miko Enomoto, M.D., try out the new PAPR respirator lenses. Enomoto says face shields and PAPR lenses are among the most depleted, yet critical, PPE supplies in the nation. (OHSU/Kristyna Wentz-Graff)

According to Enomoto, an associate professor of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine  in the Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine, face shields and PAPR lenses are among the most depleted of critical PPE supplies in the nation. When available, these masks help to protect health care workers from airborne contaminates generated by many procedures, such as intubation or ventilation, needed by patients with COVID-19. The lack of such equipment greatly amplifies the risk of viral spread and infection.

“Simply put, these resources help to keep frontline health care workers safe,” she said. “They allow us the ability to provide the best possible care to the most vulnerable patients during this uncertain time. Nike’s generous response to the COVID-19 crisis helps to instill an added layer of confidence and support for health care workers, that we can safely carry out the jobs we were born to do.”

Nike’s custom PPE uses and reimagines elements, such as collar padding and cords, used in existing footwear and apparel designs. A thermoplastic polyurethane, or TPU, familiar to their signature Nike Air soles, is a major component in both the full-face shield and PAPR lenses.

line up of medical team, all wearing personal protective equipment, standing in the hospital
OHSU medical ICU team members are all smiles as they try out the new Nike-designed PPE. The new equipment utilizes and reimagines elements, such as collar padding and cords, used in existing footwear and apparel designs. (OHSU/Kristyna Wentz-Graff)

“OHSU’s mission is to support the health and well-being of all Oregonians, and we can’t do that without adequate supplies of personal protective equipment,” said OHSU President Danny Jacobs, M.D., M.P.H., FACS. “I’ve been so inspired by how our community has united to meet this health crisis. We are forever grateful to our colleagues at Nike, as their dedication to our united effort will help save lives.”

The PAPR lenses and full-face shields will be provided to health systems in Nike’s World Headquarters region, including OHSU, Providence, Legacy Health Systems and Kaiser Permanente, among others across the state of Oregon.  

Additional information about Nike’s face shields and PAPR lenses is available here.

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