Clear face mask launches in the US

I’m delighted to read on AMPHL’s website that a clear surgical face mask has received FDA approval and hit the markets there at last. There’ve been several streams of development that kept hitting road blocks, so there’s a big sigh of relief from deaf/HoH professionals in the US.

Welcome The Communicator from Safe’N’Clear!

I don’t know what this means for the UK though. I don’t know whether the UK accepts FDA approval as a proxy but am guessing there’s a whole process to go through here. So I don’t know when or even if they’re coming to the UK. But I’ve contacted the manufacturer so will let you know if I hear any good news.

Meanwhile, don’t forget there’s a safe DIY alternative.

Crowdsourcing a clear face mask

At last there’s an update on the FaceView Mask that Jeanne Hahne has been trying to develop for so long. She came up with the idea in 1979, while working in a burn unit, because she was unable to connect with her trauma patients through her protective mask. Communication is enhanced when patients can see more of our faces, can see us smile or share their sadness. And of course lipreading helps deaf patients and deaf healthcare staff.

Jeanne will need FDA approval and has turned to crowd sourcing to fund the final development and testing stages, aiming to have a surgical version ready in May 2015.

Read more here .

Meanwhile, don’t forget the safe DIY option I wrote about here.

Clear face masks – DIY solution

For as long as I’ve been around deaf health professionals, clear face masks have been stuck “in development” (see below.) In the meantime, how about adapting equipment already readily available? In a message to the NOISE mailing list in 2005, Ian Thomson, Vascular Surgeon and Clinical Senior Lecturer at the University of Otago, wrote:

“We have been using clear masks which are designed for cleaning instruments in a theatre environment. With the addition of a standard surgical mask taped below the clear mask we have passed tests for contamination by theatre control. We have used this design for all nurses that scrub with me for the last two years and some hundreds of cases in two different hospitals with no change in wound infection rates.”

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