N95 Masks

Some frontline workers must still reuse their N95 masks. A nurse found a better way to store them between uses

The Boston Globe’s weekly Ocean State Innovators column features a Q&A with Rhode Island innovators who are starting new businesses and nonprofits, conducting groundbreaking research, and reshaping the state’s economy. Send tips and suggestions to reporter Alexa Gagosz at [email protected]

Some frontline workers are still having trouble getting clean N95 14 months into the pandemic. face masksTimothy Aurelio is an emergency room nurse at Roger Williams Medical Center, who has been there for over two decades. Many workers in health care settings have to reuse the protective gear multiple time, he stated.

There was no place to store the items. masksThey are safe. They were being thrown onto desks, picking up bacteria. They were also being carried around in purses, bags, and pockets where they were getting soiled and crushed.

He saw a security guard wrap their N95 in brown paper bags and tie it around their belt loop to keep it safe. However, putting it in a bag can cause it to deform and become flattened. mask.

Enter: The N95 Mask Preserver

The N95 Mask Preserver Sail Away Photography

Q: What’s the N95 Mask Preserver?

Aurelio: It’s a portable preserver for your N95 maskYou can attach it to your pants belt loop or scrubs or leave it on your desk. It’s manufactured here in the US and protects your maskYou can prevent your bag from getting crushed and dirt on your desk. This not only makes it last longer but also keeps frontline workers safer.

Q: What are the materials used and what does it cost?

Aurelio: It’s built with anti-microbial, anti-fungal, mold and mildew inhibiting technology. It’s actually made out of the same plastic, or polypropylene, that we use to make our syringes in the hospitals. It reduces hospital waste and costs. It is waterproof and dishwasher safe. You can also use hospital-grade wipes for cleaning it. But, it’s recyclable so it’s environmentally friendly.

A single preserver would cost $15, while 100 preservers would run you $1,000.

Q: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have updated their emergency recommendation regarding N95 recycling or reuse. masks, back to single use only. Why is your product still relevant in Rhode Island’s hospitals?

Aurelio: [The CDC’s latest guidance] is great news — when we see it really happen. This trend is not evident in our area. N95 masksAre still considered a “hot commodity.”It is crucial to ensure the integrity of each N95. mask. I’ve spoken to many nurses and doctors at hospitals around the US, [we have customers in 27 States]Most are reporting that they receive an N95 Mask at work. They have to use it when going into a COVID-19 patient’s room, and use the same maskFor that patient, the entire shift.

Q: What could this design do to help frontline workers in the aftermath of the pandemic

Aurelio: My product concept is N95 maskIntegrity protection You can use your integrity protection regardless of whether you are using it. maskThe storing of your documents can be done once, every shift, or every week. maskThe traditional brown paper bag was ineffective in protecting N95’s integrity. mask.

Plus, N95 Masks are averaging $1.50 each — which is an incredible cost for any health care institution. They are also used during the pandemic. This preserver can protect frontline workers against COVID-19 and any other airborne diseases. That’s priceless.

Alexa Gagosz can be reached at [email protected] Follow her Twitter @alexagagosz.

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