We are fortunate that Justin Hills came to our office to properly fit test us for N-95 masks. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended that dental staff use an N95 mask. To wear an N95 mask, you must be properly fitted, or the mask will not be effective. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires an initial respirator fit (N95) test to identify the right model, style, and size respirator for each worker.
Justin Hills is a Paramedic who also teaches CPR, First Aid, and bloodborne pathogens classes to the local community. He is very active in educating and training all types of professionals.
UV light and N-95 masks
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has placed a significant strain on the healthcare system across the world, which has lead to shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE). This includes N95 filtering facepiece respirators. So, “To combat this shortage, the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) faced a dire choice of continuing as is and face running out of supplies or find a solution to reuse N95 masks. Their solution? A decontamination procedure involving the delivery of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI).” (American Medical Association)
There are three types of ultraviolet light that are given off by the sun, known as UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVC is a subtype of ultraviolet light that destroys genetic material in humans, viral particles and can inactivate microbes. Artificially created UVC has become a standard way to sterilize objects in hospitals, airplanes, and factories.
Justin Hills mentions that a local EMS service has been using a UV box to help prolong the life of its N95 masks. He also remarks for other dental offices to reach out to their local EMS/Fire departments for proper fit tests.
I would like to personally thank Justin for helping us out. I am very appreciative of the information that you provided to me and my staff, regarding the Corona virus. I am especially thankful to Justin for advising us on the best ways we can provide safety to our staff and community. His knowledge of using UV light for sterilization purposes was very informative. Dr. Medina
Samantha is a Registered Dental Hygienist at Seasons of Smiles in Camden Maine. She graduated from the University of Maine in Bangor with her Associates Degree in Dental Hygiene.