Curbell Plastics, Orchard Park, New York, donated PETG sheets to the Physicians for Peace (PFP) to teach therapists how to fabricate rehabilitative transparent face masks for burn victims. Curbell Plastics has partnered with the nonprofit, which works to strengthen delivery of surgical care in under-resourced communities, since 2017.
PETG is frequently used for the masks and other burn management devices because of its excellent thermoforming characteristics, FDA compliancy, toughness and rigidity, and optical clarity.
In November, PFP volunteer instructors met with therapists from seven Latin American countries to teach them how to fabricate rehabilitative transparent face masks for burn victims. The therapists were taught how to drape the .06-inch-thick PETG over a positive mold of a patient’s face. Trainers walked therapists through the process from casting a plaster mold of the patient to checking the mask’s fit against the face and making minor adjustments to obtain the most effective therapeutic treatment results.
Generally, the most difficult item to source is the transparent plastic sheet.
In addition to the PETG donation for training purposes, each attending therapist returned home with several cut-to-size sheets to continue practicing.
“Curbell plays a huge part,” said Bibiana Gama, the program director with PFP, “without this material, we cannot teach therapists how to be resourceful and create these masks for their patients