Advanced PPE systems like PAPRs that include full-face protection can eliminate up to 100% of COVID-19 risk for frontline workers.
A study from Wuhan, China showed that when 420 healthcare professionals were directly exposed daily for 6-8 weeks to COVID-19 patients but all wore effective PPE including masks and face shields, none of them reported COVID-19 symptoms.
However, PPE shortages, especially in underserved communities, are causing healthcare professionals in the United States and other countries to reuse N95 masks for days to weeks, exposing themselves and their patients to potential contamination.
As PPE stockpiles continue to diminish and supply chains deliver new devices intermittently, medical workers are taking on greater risks to meet the developing medical emergency.
This is especially dangerous in high-risk environments like nursing homes and assisted living facilities, which accounted for over 40% of COVID-19 deaths in the United States and Europe in the first COVID-19 wave.
Air to All is fighting this problem by designing powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs).
Air to All’s PAPR is designed to be significantly cheaper ($500/set) than commercial PAPRs, which over a 2+ year period would cost about $1 per use including all supplies.
We estimate that there will be a new global demand for up to 30 million new PAPR devices in the next year to protect essential workers in future COVID-19 waves, including emergency room nurses, EMTs, nursing home workers and factory and warehouse workers.
Our Air to All PAPR can be quickly and affordably manufactured in the United States and in many other countries simultaneously.
We expect to receive temporary, limited National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) approval in August and will ramp production by October in time for the projected second wave of COVID-19 this fall in the United States.
PAPRs provide the following benefits vs. N95 masks:
PAPRs OFFER MORE PROTECTION VS N95 MASKS.
The device does not allow droplets to reach the worker and filters out viruses and bacteria that may exist in healthcare or other settings.
PAPRs ARE MORE ECONOMICAL TO USE THAN N95 MASKS.
Compared to standard N95 masks which workers should change after treating each patient or working in close proximity to others, PAPRs are designed to be reusable with cleaning instructions and parts for maintenance are available. Over a two-year period, we estimate that use of N95 masks and face shields would be three times as expensive per person vs. our complete PAPR set.
PRODUCTION OF THIS PAPR WILL AUGMENT GLOBAL PAPR AVAILABILITY.
Broad availability of PAPRs is limited by the number of manufacturers, 3M being the largest. As with other protective equipment, in the current COVID-19 climate there is high demand from high-income countries before considering other geographies. Our market research has shown that there is a need for up to 30 million PAPRs.
PAPRs ALLOW EASY VISIBILITY OF FACIAL EXPRESSIONS AND IMPROVED COMMUNICATION.
Non-verbal communication is sometimes as critical as the spoken word, and an N-95 hides the facial expressions while a PAPR with a loose-fitting facepiece allows patients to see warm smiles and other empathetic non-verbal cues. A calm patient can make the environment much safer for the healthcare worker.