COVID-19 Research: Face mask trial to keep health care workers safe
A trial will soon begin at Flinders Medical Centre to test 3D printed face mask seals moulded to the faces of individual health care workers…and it’s all thanks to your generous support.
This innovative world-first research aims to reduce potential infection in health care workers caused by ill-fitting masks when treating COVID-19 and during other high-risk procedures.
Using a mobile phone app to scan the 3D geometry and coordinates of the individual’s face, a seal is then printed to sit between a standard N95 grade face mask and the health care worker’s face.
The aim of the new, reusable, custom made seal is to prevent gaps between the cheek and the nose where viruses, bacteria and fluids can leak through.
The idea was born out of Cardiologist, Associate Professor Anand Ganesan’s desire to protect colleagues close to home and around the world and make their days on the frontline more comfortable.
He reached out to fellow researcher Darius Chapman and together they set about developing a prototype for the seal.
“At the beginning of COVID-19 our immediate concern was supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as there were problems accessing it, not just here at the hospital but for GPs and health practitioners in the community where there was nothing left over for them, so we wanted to do something about that,” A/Prof Ganesan said.
“We’ve also seen images of our colleagues, particularly in other parts of the world, with bruises and pressure sores on their nose and cheeks from the force of continually wearing masks with the straps pulled tightly to try to protect themselves.
“The human face is so variable and there’s different shapes and sizes for everyone so a generic one size fits all mask won’t capture everyone… so we’ve set about trying to limit the leak from these masks.”
Thanks to your generous support of Flinders Heroes, A/Prof Ganesan is among eight researchers sharing in funding from Flinders Foundation and Flinders University to make new discoveries into COVID-19. Thank you.
If the trial is successful, A/Prof Ganesan says the face seals won’t just be limited to healthcare workers either, with potential to expand their use to the public, and those working in other industries such as fire fighters. He and Darius are also exploring their use in patients with sleep apnoea to improve the comfort and efficiency of CPAP machines.
“Masks haven’t become part of our culture in Australia like they have in other parts of the world during the pandemic, but they’re going to be needed around the world for quite some time,” A/Prof Ganesan said.
“And despite SA doing well, COVID-19 is not over by any means…so we want to make them available for the safety of people in a hospital setting as well as in the community.”
Protein discovery paves way for new multiple myeloma treatments
Multiple myeloma patients with the poorest prognosis are set to benefit from promising new research
Promising blood test to detect head and neck cancer
Researchers at Flinders University hope their promising blood test model could help to diagnose a common form of head and neck cancer, in the same way diagnostic tests are available for other cancer types.
Heart Pillows for Heart Patients – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health –
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients undergoing heart surgery at Flinders Medical Centre (FMC) are being gifted ‘heart pillows’
Introducing Brett Stringer – Brain Cancer Research Fellowship
Dr Brett Stringer has been appointed to a new three-year Brain Cancer Research Fellowship at Flinders University, funded by Flinders Foundation.
Thyroid research under the microscope
Flinders University medical student Lauren Rask-Nielsen has received a research scholarship to take a closer look at the diagnosis of thyroid nodules which can, in some instances, be cancerous.
Flinders’ COVID-19 patients key to beating virus
As the world waits with bated breath for a vaccine to fight COVID-19, 30 former COVID-19 positive patients have gifted their blood to Flinders researchers in a bid to find ‘super-antibodies’ to use as a weapon to beat the virus.
Help for critically ill patients
Critically ill patients and those recovering from major surgeries have been helped in their recovery with the arrival of new chairs and stand aids to get them out of bed sooner.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we were overwhelmed with generous calls, donations and offers of support for the amazing healthcare workers and researchers at Flinders and the wider Southern Adelaide Local Health Network.
Thank you for helping staff care for critically ill children
When doctors and nurses are fighting to save a child’s life, and the clock is ticking, they will now have a little extra help…thanks to you.
Antibiotics and improving outcomes for critically ill COVID-19 patients
Flinders University researchers are exploring precision antibiotic strategies to tackle the two areas of greatest concern in the fight against COVID-19