Sparrow, MSU looking at ways to reuse N-95 masks

It’ll be awhile before COVID-19 gets deep-sixed, but a new study could be about to make humanity’s fight a lot easier.

“It’s a game changer,” said Alan Vierling, from Sparrow Hospital. “This is a big deal.”

It’s hot-new research… literally.

Commercial ovens are being tested by MSU and Sparrow Hospital to sanitize and re-use N-95 masks.

“We believe we found a way to heat N-95 over a consistent amount of time, so a very specific temperature for a very specific time that we believe is virucidal and will allow the N-95 to be reprocessed,” Vierling said.

It could be reused up to 10 times.

“If you can reprocess a mask 10 times, it takes your inventory from 10 to 100,” he said.

That’s going to save lives because N-95 masks are in short supply around the world.

If a hospital does have them current methods make them nearly impossible to sanitize for re-use without damaging the filtration system.

“I don’t have access to vaporized hydrogen peroxide, I don’t have access to ultraviolet light rooms,” Vierling said.

But even remote hospitals in poor countries have an oven.

“When we are done with this and get the FDA stamp of approval, we’ll share the information around the world so it will matter to hospitals across the globe,” he said.

The FDA approval could come over the weekend. They have to prove it works in a test which is expected to be complete within the next couple days.

Copyright 2020 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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