N95 mask decontamination for community health care organizations available through Cabell Huntington Hospital, Marshall Health

4/23/2020


HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – With limited supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) across the country, Cabell Huntington Hospital (CHH) and Marshall Health are working together to help local health care organizations decontaminate N95 respirator masks for reuse.

N95 masks are tight-fitting respirators that filter out at least 95% of particles in the air, including large and small particles. The Xenex LightStrike™ Pulsed Xenon UV robot quickly decontaminates the N95 masks using bursts of intense, germicidal UVC light to deactivate viruses and bacteria. After the 10-minute disinfection process, CHH staff also inspects the respirators to ensure that damaged or soiled masks are appropriately discarded.

After testing the effectiveness of the process, CHH, part of Mountain Health Network, began decontaminating N95 masks for clinic and hospital employees earlier this month, followed by St. Mary’s Medical Center and Pleasant Valley Hospital last week. After testing internally, CHH is now offering this service to other local health care facilities in need, such as nursing homes. Marshall Health is facilitating mask collections and deliveries.

“Maintaining our supply of PPE is essential so that front-line workers can appropriately protect themselves and others,” said Kara S. Willenburg, M.D., chief of infectious disease at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and Marshall Health. “N95 decontamination helps preserve that supply, while keeping our health care workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis safe.”

Organizational guidelines limit reuse with pulsed UV light technology to five decontamination cycles before the mask is discarded. Cabell Huntington Hospital can decontaminate approximately 500 masks a day. The masks are back in circulation within 24 hours. 

Health care organizations that would like to participate should contact Jamey Montgomery, director of environment of care and safety compliance/operations for Marshall Health, at 304-691-1642 or montgomerych@marshall.edu.

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Photo:  The Xenex LightStrike™ Pulsed Xenon UV robot at Cabell Huntington Hospital decontaminates N95 masks using intense bursts of UVC light to kill germs.

 

Media Relations Contact

Michele McKnight, Community & Media Relations Coordinator
304-691-1713
mcknigh4@marshall.edu


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