Written by Paul Biddinger, MD
As part of its rapidly mobilizing response to the shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) caused by COVID-19 pandemic, Partners HealthCare has secured a machine that can sterilize up to 80,000 N95 respirator masks a day. N95 masks are typically discarded after use, but the worldwide shortage of the masks has created pressing need to find ways to reuse them.
This machine, which is expected to be functional by early next week, is the result of a collaboration with Battelle, a research nonprofit based in Columbus, Ohio, and the City of Somerville and will be hosted near Partners HealthCare’s corporate offices in Assembly Row—one of only four sites in the country where the technology is available. Battelle’s system—approved by the FDA just last week—uses concentrated hydrogen peroxide vapor to decontaminate the masks—a process that can be repeated on the same mask up to 30 times.
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