Study: UV Device Successfully Decontaminates N95 Respirators

On December 14, Sandra Lindsay, a critical care nurse from Long Island, became the first American to receive the COVID-19 vaccination outside of a clinical trial. But even as the initial doses begin to roll out across the country, many healthcare facilities are still struggling to find enough personal protective equipment (PPE).

However, a recently developed device from Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic aims to help ease the strain by rapidly decontaminating N95 respirators, allowing for their safe reuse.

The device is called Synchronous UV Decontamination System (SUDS) and was designed with small, rural clinics in mind. The single-door unit is compact enough to fit on a countertop or table, allowing easy access in busy environments.

Up until now, decontamination was done using vaporized hydrogen peroxide. The system was designed to handle large batches of respirators at once – good for high-volume hospitals, not so good for smaller clinics.

SUDS utilizes UV-C radiation to decontaminate a single N95 respirator in about a minute, making it simple for care providers to exit a patient’s room, doff their mask and place it in the SUDS device. By the time the provider has performed proper hand hygiene and donned their gloves, the decontamination process is finished, and they are ready to safely meet their next patient.

Eight high-output UV bulbs provide the proper irradiation. The interior is highly reflective, and care was taken to avoid shadowing. Closing the door begins the decontamination, and it automatically opens when the process is finished,

For small and medium sized healthcare facilities, SUDS could be a gamechanger. The ability to quickly decontaminate N95 masks between patients allows providers to optimize their PPE in the best way possible, despite shortages. And both patients and providers will enjoy a higher level of protection from COVID-19.

With PPE in short supply, it’s more important than ever to keep your supplies organized and accessible. PPE door caddies from Protection First are a great solution. Find yours here.