How a re-fitted snorkel mask can save lives:
There is a worldwide shortage of personal protective materials for healthcare professionals due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A new reusable face mask for medical staff who are caring for and treating COVID-19 patients has been developed in the Netherlands by teams of anaesthesiologists, universities and a consortium of companies, all supporting on a not-for-profit basis.
The design may help solve the global shortage of face masks and improve safety for healthcare professionals, especially during intubation and intensive care procedures where the risk of infection is highest.
The mask uses a unique 3D printed connector to link a popular snorkel mask to an industrial fan & filter unit to create a personal protection unit for use of longer duration.
The Air-Wave.org Protector™
The Air-Wave.org Protector™
The Air-Wave.org Protector™ is a combination of a popular full-face snorkel mask connected with a custom 3D printed connector to a medical-grade filter and an air pump used in the welding industry for personal protection. The air pump creates a positive pressure in the mask, potentially reducing air leakage and promoting the ease of breathing. Preliminary testing indicates that the solution provides better protection than the commonly used FFP2 masks.
Safety and comfort
A team of healthcare professionals tested the snorkel mask used and found it to work well. Glasses can be worn and the mask allows for communication with patients and co-workers. The reusable mask can be decontaminated using readily available cleaning methods.
The design of the solution is “open-source” which means it can be freely copied and used to support healthcare professionals worldwide. The parts of the 3D-printed connector created by the TU Delft will be available through our website as well as the certified filters and PAPR units.
While some aspects of the solution are still in development and testing continues, the group has decided to share their design and progress widely. Royal Dutch Shell and RapidCenter have already started printing Air-Wave.org Protector™ connectors and offered their full cooperation to contribute to the solution that is being developed.
How it started
The history of the Air-Wave.org Protector™ is a unique story of ingenuity and collaboration in times of crisis. The not-for-profit initiative has brought together different groups (anaesthesiologists, universities, companies and volunteers) who had similar ideas to help healthcare professionals battle COVID-19. With amazing passion, they have come together to develop solutions in a short period of time.
The Air-Wave.org Protector™ is being developed with support from a large number of experts and organisation including:
● Damen Shipyards, Blue Orange Wave, Redgrasp, VFA Solutions and Go Lemon International, with support of a large international group of specialists and innovative companies, united in the Air-Wave.org Foundation.
● Independent group of Dutch medical specialist and healthcare professionals.
- Website Air-Wave.org Protector™: http://www.air-wave.org
- General spokesperson: Jan-Hein Reeringh - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Media for download: Photos, images and videos about the Air-Wave.org Protector™ can be found on this website and can be used free of rights.
For Air-Wave.org Protector™: Initiators are active in industry and healthcare. Due to the scarcity of mouth masks in healthcare, they have jointly investigated whether existing protection solutions within the industry can offer an alternative solution. On this basis, the initiators have put together a set, consisting of a PAPR filter that is connected to a snorkel mask via a 3-d printed connector. Updates and new designs will be uploaded here as soon as they are ready and have been tested. Initiators have tested the system themselves and are confident that it will work. However, the system has not been tested or certified and does not have any (safety) standards. Initiators have made an effort to come up with a good solution quickly, but cannot give any guarantee on this. Anyone who wants a guarantee or certainty must have the system tested and standardised by an authorised testing institute.
The Air-Wave.org Consortium: