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UCD Researchers Design and Manufacture Face Shields for Frontline Medical Staff

Researchers at I-Form – an advanced manufacturing research facility based in UCD’s O’Brien Centre for Science – are using 3D printing to produce face shields for healthcare staff in Dublin battling the spread of COVID-19. Responding to a request from Tallaght University Hospital, and in the face of a global shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), the team at the SFI-funded facility worked with engineering colleagues at UCD to optimise existing designs for rapid production. Over the course of a single weekend in the lab they produced 300 face shields, and they are now scaling up production. I-Form is also...
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InvoiceFair Enables Irish Cosmetics Company to Ramp Up Production of Hand Sanitiser

InvoiceFair – based at NexusUCD, The Industry Partnership Centre – runs an innovative receivables trading platform that enables small and medium enterprises to access working capital quickly and flexibly. The company, which was co-founded by UCD alumni Helen Cahill and Ivan Fox along with Peter Brady, has supported Irish manufacturer Cosmetic Creations in accessing the working capital needed to ramp up production of hand sanitiser to meet the unprecedented demand as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to InvoiceFair, the manufacturing company was able to secure funding for raw materials and components, and to increase its skilled workforce. Cosmetic...
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Prof. Alistair Nichol Leads COVID-19 Clinical Trial in Ireland

Professor Alistair Nichol, Chair of Critical Care Medicine at UCD and intensive care consultant at St Vincent’s University Hospital, is leading the Irish contribution to a clinical trial on COVID-19. In partnership with an international network of researchers, Prof. Nichol and intensive care teams at University Hospital Galway and St Vincent’s University Hospital are working with a local network of clinical research facilities and other partners across academia to identify drugs that can protect against or treat the worst symptoms of the virus. Likewise, treatments that are ineffective will also be quickly identified. Other hospitals around the country are also...
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Opportunity in Crisis: Drones Fly Under the Spotlight

The Dublin-based drone delivery start-up Manna was set to launch a commercial pilot project this month – delivering takeaways to UCD students on the Belfield campus. For hungry students, this would mean their favourite food was only ever three minutes away. Unfortunately, the campus shutdown amidst the COVID-19 pandemic has meant putting the pilot on hold. But Manna founder and CEO Bobby Healy sees tremendous opportunity for drone technology at a time when many people are confined to their homes and relying on others to deliver vital medication and food supplies. With its UCD plans up in the air –...
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Coronavirus and Children: Expert Advice from Prof. Karina Butler

In an Irish Times article Karina Butler, UCD Professor of Clinical Paediatrics and infectious disease specialist at Children’s Health Ireland, discusses what we know so far about COVID-19 in children, and advises parents and carers on ‘red flag’ symptoms to look out for. Early indications based on relatively scarce – but increasing – data are that children who contract the virus generally have milder symptoms than adults and have a better prognosis. To date, deaths in children resulting from COVID-19 infection are extremely rare. Prof. Butler advises that the management of symptoms of COVID-19 in children – fever, cough, runny...
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Pushing to Help Irish Hospitals

UCD alumna Emmy Coffey Nguyen is the founder of The Push Up Challenge, a crowdfunding campaign that has already raised over €3,000 towards helping Irish hospitals combat coronavirus. We spoke with Emmy around the campaign, and her time at UCD.   What inspired you to start this challenge? The reason I started this campaign was because I realised the severity of the situation, the effects it would have on our health system and the citizens of Ireland. While I am not a doctor, nurse or healthcare worker (I work for Salesforce as an Account Executive) I knew what it could...
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Feeding Ireland’s Healthcare Heroes

When UCD alumnus Cian O’Flaherty set up the ‘Feed the Heroes’ GoFundMe page on 15 March, he was hoping to raise about €1,000 to provide food for some of the healthcare heroes working flat out in hospitals and on the frontline of COVID-19 testing. However, the response to Cian’s “very small, bright idea” has far exceeded his expectations, as the Irish public responded with immense generosity. Within two weeks, more than €430,000 has already been donated. The money is being used to pay restaurants and kitchens to prepare and deliver meals to hospital and emergency workers, who are putting in...
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Harnessing the Power of 3D Printing Against the Spread of Coronavirus

With the cancellation of most sporting events in the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, there has been a drop in the demand for protective gumshields. For the company Impact Gumshields – co-founded by James Murphy and UCD alumnus and former Leinster rugby player Gary Brown – this might have seen their 3D printing technology lying idle for a while. Instead, the company was keen to do whatever they could to support local communities and they quickly sought an alternative use for the printers. They are now producing hands-free door handles for distribution to GP surgeries, pharmacies, nursing homes...
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UCD and UCC Offer Free Training for Nurses on the Frontline of COVID-19

UCD is responding rapidly to the evolving demands placed on our society and our healthcare system as the coronavirus pandemic continues to run its course. Identifying the urgent need for more specialist nurses to provide critical care to patients infected with COVID-19 as well as other patients who require intensive care, both UCD and UCC are offering an online accelerated programme free of charge to upskill nurses. Both universities are offering easy and rapid access to the National Foundation Module in Critical Care Nursing. The training will equip nurses with high-level skills in caring for critically ill patients and working...
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UCD Tech Start-up Designs 3D Printable Protective Visors

The Irish tech company CALT Dynamics, founded by UCD research engineers Ross Lawless, Colin Keogh and Irene Villafane, has developed a prototype protective visor that can be produced rapidly using 3D printing. The company has already donated prototypes of the visors to a Dublin hospital for testing and validation. Once the design is approved and finalised they will ramp up production to address the global shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). The company is sharing its design with US company Stanley Black and Decker, which has huge production capacity, and is also providing assistance to the Spanish government. “When we...