Dr. Larry Schlesinger has teamed up with community partners to create, test, and donate resterilizable N99 masks to a large hospital group in Hawaii. Dr. Schlesinger is working on the project in collaboration with Roxana M Turnbo, CEO & Fashion Designer of Gingrr Salt LLC, who fashioned the patent-pending design for this new mask.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is severely straining our hospitals, particularly when it comes to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). A shortage of masks directly puts our healthcare workers on the frontline at risk as they are working day and night to help keep the public safe and healthy,” explains Dr. Schlesinger. “It is our hope that these masks can help alleviate the strain on local facilities. In the spirit of the Hawaiian word laulima, many hands working together can make all of the difference.”
Roxana and her team have been utilizing a material commonly called “surgical wrap” that is widely used in hospitals and healthcare practices. Her special design gives these masks a material rating of N99—a higher level of protection than the recommended N95 masks. Designed with double layers of material, seams crafted to closely hug the face and neck, and close-fitting yet comfortable straps, the masks should provide a safe, practical, and resterilizable option for healthcare workers.
Dr. Schlesinger donated all of the polypropylene used to create the masks, and he and his surgical team are currently beta-testing the prototypes under field conditions to ensure they are not only functional but practical for day-to-day use. Testing looks positive, and Dr. Schlesinger has been in touch with local hospitals to discuss upcoming donations. Once the design has been thoroughly tested and perfected, manufacturing will progress full-steam ahead with an estimated production of upwards of five hundred plus masks per week.