Houstonian Roland von Kurnatowski felt a growing sense of purpose as he watched the coronavirus race around the globe, elevating panic over shortages of critical personal protective equipment — such as face shields, masks and respirators.
“We saw that there was a problem and we thought we might have a solution,” said von Kurnatowski, president of TX/RX Labs, a nonprofit fabrication workshop in Houston’s East End.
von Kurnatowski and his team started constructing prototypes for face shields — a head band with a clear piece of plastic attached that hospital workers wear in front of procedure masks — with their suite of 3-D printers on Wednesday.
By Monday, TX/RX had partnered with Memorial Hermann Hospital, delivering hundreds of face masks to supplement the hospital’s dwindling supply. The company developed and sewed prototypes of procedure masks that Memorial Hermann’s doctors are testing out this week. And they’re working with the Texas Medical Center to manufacture respirators, which are in short supply nationally.