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Sat Mar 21, 2020, 04:49 AM

Doctors in Nebraska are attempting a novel experiment as gear shortages arise. (UV light)

Last edited Sat Mar 21, 2020, 06:11 AM - Edit history (1)

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/20/health/coronavirus-masks-reuse.html



By Gina Kolata
March 20, 2020

Facing a dire shortage of protective face masks for health care workers, administrators at the University of Nebraska Medical Center decided they had no choice.

Masks are certified for one-time use only. But on Thursday, the center began an experimental procedure to decontaminate its masks with ultraviolet light and reuse them. Administrators plan to use each mask for a week or longer.

To the knowledge of the program’s administrators, the medical center is the first to disinfect and reuse masks.

“We have talked with a lot of others around the country who are going after a similar approach,” said John Lowe, the medical center’s assistant vice chancellor for health security training and education, who designed the program.

When administrators made the decision, they knew the procedure violated regulations promulgated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which said that if masks were decontaminated they could no longer be certified for use.

</snip>

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Reply Doctors in Nebraska are attempting a novel experiment as gear shortages arise. (UV light) (Original post)
Dennis Donovan Mar 21 OP
BigmanPigman Mar 21 #1
KewlKat Mar 21 #2
Dennis Donovan Mar 21 #3
KewlKat Mar 21 #4
Dennis Donovan Mar 21 #5
The Figment Mar 21 #6
Liberal In Texas Mar 21 #14
malaise Mar 21 #7
Cirque du So-What Mar 21 #8
Dennis Donovan Mar 21 #9
malaise Mar 21 #10
Dennis Donovan Mar 21 #11
rampartc Mar 21 #12
Cirque du So-What Mar 21 #13

Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 05:01 AM

1. I am confused now.

I read that hospitals were asking people to donate masks and gloves and to make some by hand too. They said that the supplies would be sanitized after you drop them off so don't worry about that. If these things can be sterilized than why isn't everybody doing that to reuse them? Some desperate nurses are using the same ones over and over without sterilizing them too. Why do some know how to do this and others don't? I would think this is pretty important information to be sharing right now.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 05:06 AM

2. This video talks about it

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Response to KewlKat (Reply #2)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 05:13 AM

3. I hope this proves to be 100% effective

It would be huge in the face of the shortage. Praying for this to work.

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Response to KewlKat (Reply #4)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 05:51 AM

5. Thank you! Knowledge is power.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 05:51 AM

6. I have a dumb question...

I worked in restaurants for a good portion of my adult life and one of the things that is pounded into your head is the 165° rule...all hot consumables served to a customer must be stored or served at 165° or higher to prevent the passage of any pathogens.
These masks are made of cotton, why not boil them for ten minutes, for example any properly set up commercial dish washing machine is set at 185° for just this reason. I'm sure they have some way to sanitize all the surgical equipment.

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Response to The Figment (Reply #6)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 07:26 AM

14. May not be sufficient.

Found this on a site about autoclaves (something all hospitals have):

... bringing something up to the temperature of boiling water, 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit), is not sufficient to sterilize it because bacterial spores can survive this temperature. In contrast, 121 degrees Celsius is almost always sufficient for sterilization.


Autoclaves use wet heat for 15 min. to 30 min. This might actually damage the masks. Just don't know.

https://sciencing.com/proper-conditions-autoclave-8204619.html

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 05:54 AM

7. I read here that the Chinese have been cleaning buses this way

Any port in a storm - humans are innovative

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 05:57 AM

8. Sounds good in theory

but a mask is a 3-D matrix of fibers if virus gets trapped in that matrix, will UV light have sufficient intensity to reach virus beneath the surface? I’m sure this has already been considered.

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Response to Cirque du So-What (Reply #8)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 06:13 AM

9. The UV light pictured (I just added it) is omnidirectional

...but it's still light and doesn't bend around corners. Maybe they're putting the masks on some sort of rotating rack system (like a UV rotisserie)?

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Reply #9)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 06:15 AM

10. Here

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Response to malaise (Reply #10)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 06:20 AM

11. Thanks!

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Response to Cirque du So-What (Reply #8)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 06:39 AM

12. shade from hugher threads might protect the underlying virus

good point cirque. i do like the boiling idea, though

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Response to rampartc (Reply #12)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 06:51 AM

13. I wonder whether dry heat would work

Fibers should withstand 250 degrees F, hotter than boiling water. There’s no need for drying, so masks can be put back in service quicker.

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