As the shortage of masks continues nationwide, new methods such as N-95 mask sterilization through Battelle, has been able to help combat the issue. Masks are cleaned with vapor-phase hydrogen peroxide, aerated and then sent back to the originating hospitals. The decontamination process takes approximately 12 hours, and the N-95 masks can go through the process up to 20 times without losing their functionality.
Our Linen Department staff have been working on another way to extend our supply of personal protective equipment (PPE). They have replaced or reattached elastic straps on N-95 respirators that would have otherwise been unable to be used. The straps on the N-95 respirators, which are very important to ensure a proper fit, had started to give and lose their strength while in storage. The new replacement elastic ensures the masks can be used safely. Some masks that come back from sterilization at Battelle have loose straps or have come off the respirators. The Linen staff have been able to reattach them. We are very grateful for the ingenuity and teamwork provided by our staff involved with this project. As of July 13, 2020, 2,200 masks were able to be saved and safely used through their efforts.
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