The Innovation Hub, a prototyping center in the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at West Virginia University, has successfully created surgical mask extenders to be used by health care professionals.
To protect themselves from exposure to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, medical professionals are now required to wear surgical masks throughout the duration of their shiftwork. This necessary change has brought with it its own set of problems – the bands attached to the masks are causing irritation to the skin behind the ears, making them uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time.
The mask extenders created by the Innovation Hub staff reduce the pressure behind the ears, affording the user an increased measure of comfort. The Innovation Hub has made the directions for making the mask extenders publicly available.
The zip file for mask extenders (6.3MB download) includes dimensions, materials, instructions for cleanliness and design files. The original design was created by HP as a 3D print model and was modified by the Innovation Hub to be compatible with a laser cutter and waterjet. The design can be made in a variety of ways.
If other facilities have similar production capabilities, the Innovation Hub urges them to assist in this effort.
The Innovation Hub will serve as a central point of contact to deliver the mask extenders to the appropriate parties at WVU Health Sciences and other local health care facilities in need.
Contact: Paige Nesbit
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
304.293.4135, Paige Nesbit
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