With shortages of N95 face due to COVID-19, masks persisting nationwide, healthcare services are scrambling to seek out methods to clean and deal with the reuse of masks protect medical doctors and nurses from COVID-19.
Duke University thinks it has discovered a solution utilizing vaporized hydrogen peroxide to decontaminate the masks.
The course of makes use of specialized gear to vaporize hydrogen peroxide, which might then infuse all of the layers of the masks to kill germs with out degrading masks materials.
The university mentioned it has confirmed efficient and can start utilizing the technology in any respect three of its hospitals, in response to Matthew Stiegel, the director of the Occupational and Environmental Safety Office at Duke.
Ideally, the hospitals would be capable of use fresh masks and never have to attempt to decontaminate their masks, however these usually are not preferred times.
Duke’s determination to make use of hydrogen peroxide to decontaminate N95 masks is based on research performed in 2016, however the apply wasn’t widespread, as a result of the country wasn’t dealing with shortages of masks. Those earlier research additionally didn’t include fit-testing or the resizing of masks for particular person wearers after cleaning. Duke has now carried out that efficacy testing in the real world, the university stated.
“The ability to reuse the crucial N95 masks will boost the hospitals’ ability to protect front-line healthcare workers during this time of critical shortages of N95 masks,” the Cameron Wolfe, MD, associate professor of drugs and infectious disease specialist mentioned.
“We could stand up in front of our healthcare staff and state with confidence that we are using a proven decontamination method,” Brown mentioned. “It has been a proven method for years. While this alone will not solve the problem, if we and others can reuse masks even once or twice, that would be a huge benefit given the current shortages of masks.”