Update - experience gained with the mask project Prague:
Please consider all information below to be purely informative, and we are in no way connected with the mask manufacturer, neither in business nor entrepreneurial. The Mask manufacturer Decathlon accepts by means of a disclaimer no responsibility for the use of the mask outside of its original purpose (scuba diving - snorkel mask)
Please note: This is not a medically certified solution, this project just has proven itself in battle with SARS-CoV-2 even if only as a temporary solution and has already saved countless lives (doctors, nurses, and nurses and patients).
How well can the staff breathe under the mask when it has to be worn for a longer time?
The mask has been designed to be used for several hours snorkeling underwater. It is relatively comfortable, safe and easy to breathe with underwater (in an appropriate size even for children). The mask was trimmed for maximum safety and reliability. The mask was designed in such a way, that the exhaled air with high CO2 content, can not collect in the mask, but escapes through specially designated exhalation from the mask. This mask was sold millions of times and can, therefore (if available) to offer an unbeatable price/performance ratio.
How comfortable is it to wear the Scuba Diving Mask for longer period of time?
The mask was developed as a Schorchelmaske and produced. This mask is, been used voluntarily by any hobby snorkelers.. just for snorkeling even for several hours a day. If this were not tolerable or comfortable enough, you would not use for this purpose. We assume, in-hospital use (as well as in research laboratories for biohazardous materials with dangerous viruses and bacteria) probably specially designed certified masks would be more than10x or 20x expensive, could be even more comfortable to wear. In case these were available at all.
The Decathlon mask can be used with suitable adapter in a different way for the patient (with ventilation equipment for artificial respiration (many positive experiences not only in Italy and also not certified for medical) or with another 3D-printed suitable adapter and particle filter and as a reusable full face mask by doctors, nurses who come in frequent and close contact with SARS-CoV-2 patients.
Our hospital is currently using only so-called "Face Shields" is that enough?
Due to the aggressive propagation characteristics and long survival of the virus in the environment, as well based on the experience with SARS-CoV-2 patients, it has been experienced frequently that "Face Shields" rather are only suitable only in areas with very little to no viral loads (concentrations). They are suitable for more distanced as well as rare rather fleeting encounters (less than 15 minutes) of the staff and only with clients and patients, who show only little or no disease symptoms. This can be f.e. staff in the shops, cash desks, pick-up points for packets and goods, postal workers at the counters, etc. Furthermore, fo cases where the staff is in addition been protected by a further transparent protective wall from the client / patient all the time.
On the other hand, all doctors, nurses and care stuff, who come in closer contact during a prolonged period with possibly infected clients and patients with moderate and severe symptoms (possible) of SARS-CoV-2, are significantly much greater danger to be infected with virus, especially from the air exposed.
The virus survives in the air for about 3 hours, and therefore the medical staff is not adequately protected by simple face-plates at higher concentrations at all.
There is also lot of experience and the evidence from the worse affected countries (eg Italy, Spain, France, USA, etc.). Due to the underestimation of the real danger of SARS-CoV-2 or unavailability of suitable protection tools like full-face masks with high-quality filters, there were already many doctors and nurses been infected with SARS-CoV-2 and many of them have not survived.
Particularly such doctors, nurses, when they provide surgery and other treatments on patients (typically: Dentist comes a lot with aerosol from saliva, etc. in contact) are exposed to significantly highest risk of infection.
Of course, we also offer face-shields for midly exposed staff, starting up from 3 € / pc which are only partially reusable. However, they protect only very midly against direct larger heavier particles with low viral loads, but not against aerosol and the smallest particles in the air, which SARS-CoV2 virus s using to transport and spread amongs people..
How the mask affects patients?
The „scuba diving mask“ used by doctors will make a probably optically somewhat unusual appearance on first sight (colored internal rubber part). But every patient will probably be open to listening to arguments and explanations which concern "life and death" issues.
For clarification purposes, many pictures are available of the direct use of these masks by doctors, nurses and other care providers - even free on the Internet . In addition upon request, we can send you additional pictures. You can prepare even small leaflets with "what and why" for example in waiting rooms, etc. in advance incl patient images with a brief description of so patients they will not be scared at the sudden "appearance of a snorkeler" in white coat going to treat them.
Disadvantages of snorkel masks Decathlon?
They have been certified either for medical use nor recommended by the manufacturer for this purpose. Carrier of the masks must shave their beard,otherwise, adequate sealing of the mask can't be secured against the outside air.
To collect in advance their own experiences that are irreplaceable, we, therefore, recommend the masks with suitable 3D-printed adapters and our screw-on filter (FMP3 98% filtration efficiency, our filter 99.9999% filtration efficiency) simply first in smaller numbers test out in your hospital (. including suitable cleaning and sterilization methods) and in the next step - possibly never coming - worse times to prepare in time. If not available at short notice, we could try to give you a few 3D printed adapter, specifically at buying the Spin question about self-cost. The Decathlon masks in large numbers and in general, the appropriate 3D adapter (print file for free for download on our website for 3D adapter) are to be procured locally to you.
Your europecon s.r.o., division ec-medica TEAM