About 40 volunteers in Tallahassee steeped forward to home-sew a medical grade mask designed by University Of Florida anesthesiologists. The masks are made of throw-away Halyard H600, rated at N-99, and re-sterilize-able and re-usable 5-10 times.
These masks are for hospital use only as they require sterilization in an autoclave between uses. The volunteers took the proposal to a local hospital and internal deliberations dragged on. But staff read the information, got the waste Halyard H600, and then produced both models of the prototype. By the time the volunteers got permission, the deadline has shrunk and the hospital wanted 500 masks returned to them within 4 days!
A small and sturdy cluster of masked and gloved human beings cut the fabric, bent the metal nose pieces, reworked the instructions, build the kits to distribute. It took two whole days to get the operation operational. By the time the seamstresses got their kits, they had only two days to sew. The fabric cannot be pierced by pins and where it had been taped to make bags for the autoclave, the sewing machines gummed up. Problems continued but by the deadline Monday, volunteers produced 438 masks!
Now when local doctors and nurses leave their homes to repeatedly and intimately with Covid-19 patients, they will be protected at N-99 levels.
Spread the word on this N-99 mask and re-create this in your community using this handy guide. Be sure to let us know how it goes!
UPDATE 9 April 2020: The volunteers heard back from the grateful mask recipients!
"Thank you from our 5A unit - Internal Medicine!
This unit is taking care of many of “Person Under Investigation” PUI and COVID 19 Positive patients.
Please share with your group!"