Implementation of a 3D-printed custom mask fitter in an ophthalmology setting during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID…
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Can J Ophthalmol. 2021 Mar 19:S0008-4182(21)00096-X. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjo.2021.03.004. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the effectiveness of a 3D-printed custom mask fitter in lieu of N95 respirators among ophthalmologists and other eye care professionals who may not be prioritized to receive N95 respirators amidst the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.
METHODS: This was a proof-of-concept study from a tertiary eye care center in Oakville, Canada. All participants underwent the N95 Qualitative Fit Test with a custom mask fitter secured over an American Society for Testing and Materials Level 3 face mask. Participants answered a 10-point Likert scale questionnaire on comfort, ease of use, and feasibility of the custom mask fitter, as well as comfort of a regular face mask.
RESULTS: Twenty participants were recruited. Of the 20 recruited, 18 (90%) successfully passed the fit test. The median scores for comfort, ease of use, and everyday feasibility for the custom mask fitter were 3.5, 4.5, and 3, respectively, whereas the median score for comfort of a regular face mask was 8.5.
CONCLUSION: A reusable, low-cost, 3D-printed custom mask fitter is a potential effective alternative to an N95 respirator among eye care professionals but may require improvement in its design and comfort. This is especially relevant in the context of a limited supply of N95 respirators amidst a global pandemic.