Dentists Help to Deliver Babies in NHS Amid Coronavirus Crisis.

UK: In face of coronavirus crisis, dental teams are assisting C-section deliveries to help alleviate NHS pressure.

Professor Shakeel Shahdad, who is a consultant in restorative dentistry at Barts Health NHS Trust and QMUL Institute of Dentistry, said that his department has been redeployed to various other departments following lockdown.

The dental staff is now helping in the following departments:

  • Critical Care Unit (CCU)
  • The Emergency Department.
  • Maternity Unit.
  • Urgent treatment centre and
  • Testing for Covid-19.

The Dentists posted in the Maternity department have been assisting midwives as new mothers went into labour. Some of them are even helping with the C-section procedures.

As there is very limited cover for dental emergencies provided by oral surgery and paediatric departments, the remaining dental space has been relocated to meet the COVID-19 demands.

He said: ‘As part of the large NHS Trust, we knew early on the redeployment was on the cards. Currently, our dental hospital space is being used for chemotherapy. This has allowed for space being made available in the main hospital for COVID patients.’


Professor Shahdad is also the co-ordinator of the project for producing thousands of new visors for frontline NHS staff. The newly designed visor supports acetate sheets to provide full face and neck protection.

He said: ‘I felt there was a need for better face protection when we were being “fit tested” in the dental hospital.

‘The project started as a small idea with one of my ex-scholars help design something based in India. I very quickly had colleagues from QMUL departments and Keratify, a QMUL spinoff company, come on board to work through multiple variations in design and concept.

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‘Our idea was to work on a technically challenging and difficult concept, but the manufactured product for end-user had to be very user friendly, easy yet adjustable – and reusable (after appropriate disinfection).’

The team received grant from Barts Charity to help them increase the production number to 10,000. With the help from other resources as well, they aim of producing 20,000 visors by the end of April with a hope of producing more if the funding replenishes.

Medical staff from the neighbouring hospitals have also asked help from NHS trust in a desperate plea for PPE.

The supplies can be up and down’ he said.

‘To be fair, we have a good supply of FFP3 masks in hot zones. Additionally, our Visors are widely used in CCU, ED, maternity and UTC.

‘There are occasional shortages of gowns – this bank holiday weekend I had to appeal through social media for some gowns to be donated to our CCU.

‘I was overwhelmed by the response and managed to collect and deliver 750 surgical gowns, plus hundreds of hats and masks to the frontline staff in CCU.’ NHS Hero Support donated 500 of those gowns.’



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