Researchers on the University of Saskatchewan say they successfully decontaminated a small batch of N95 respiratory masks for reuse final week.
The aim of the method is to create an emergency backup provide of N95 masks, in partnership with the province, for hospitals to make use of throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and within the occasion of a masks scarcity.
“This is a critical initiative that we hope will save lives and protect our health care providers,” stated Volker Gerdts, director of the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac) on the U of S.
N95 masks could be decontaminated for reuse between 5 and 10 occasions, in keeping with Gerdts. He added that the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) has set the restrict for decontamination at 5 occasions.
VIDO-InterVac may most likely decontaminate as much as “a couple thousand” masks per week, Gerdts estimates. The course of itself takes about two-and-a-half days.
The factor that takes up probably the most time is ready for validation of organic indicators used to make sure that the process labored.
Gerdts stated the method might be prolonged to different private protecting gear (PPE) and is a wonderful contingency plan for potential shortages.
Four workers members at VIDO-InterVac have volunteered time to help within the decontamination course of, he added.
The solely value is the transportation of the masks, in keeping with the PPE process pressure for the SHA. Existing medical workers all through the province are accumulating masks.
“It’s important that we have backups to backups to backups,” stated Dr. Michael Kelly, co-chair of the duty pressure.
It’s too early to find out simply how far the method may lengthen provides within the province, Kelly stated.
Any masks reintroduced into the work pressure shall be preceded by a public announcement from the province if it will get to that time.