MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — With the demand for N-95 masks increasing during the Coronavirus pandemic, USA Health is using technology to sanitize the masks between uses to conserve them. They use a xenox robot, that produces a UV-C wave which is an intense burst of light that destroys the DNA of viruses and bacteria within 5 minutes.
Josh Smithart, Sterilization Supervisor at USA Health tells us that this was used years ago to disinfect hospital rooms after a person in isolation was in that room. University of Nebraska did research to see if it could be used for masks and other objects and found that it worked.
USA Health has inplemented an “extended use” program with N-95 masks to help conserve them. Smithart says, “With extended use, there is an inherent risk for the nurse to self-inoculate. Our policy is that they use it once, send it to us, we would treat it and get rid of the virus. So when they did use it again, it would be almost like using a new mask.”
With this technology, healthcare workers can wear masks up to five times, disinfecting them after each use, to help conserve masks. A recent study shows that this UV-C light robot is really effective in killing viruses and bacteria.
“Xenex did a big study out in Texas and they found that it was 99.9% effective. That study was released May 1.” Smithart explains.
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