RESPIRA™ – Next Generation Personal Protective Equipment Mask
RESPIRA™ is a professional and civilian friendly full-face respirator that filters out bacteria and viruses from respiration and prevents the wearer from infecting others. It is specifically designed to protect critical infrastructure workers and their families from respiratory based infectious diseases during a biological weapons attack or an epidemic caused by a natural disaster such as H1N1 Swine Flu, Avian Flu, Smallpox, and SARS.
RESPIRA™ is currently in the form of functional, tested prototypes. Current prototypes weigh 13 oz. with the final weight estimated to be less than 8 oz. RESPIRA™ is based on physical filtration and will be effective against all types of respiratory based infectious diseases based on filtration of aerosols and droplets containing the disease.
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Our Nation’s Protection Problem
A “vaccine gap” of 12 months or more exists between the onset of a new disease and the availability of a vaccine, assuming one can be created at all. In addition, vaccines can produce side effects and have a limited target group. The current leading face mask solutions are the N-95, the common reusable elastomeric respirator, and the NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) otherwise known as the gas mask. The N-95 leaves the eyes unprotected, placing the wearers at risk for ocular transmission of diseases. The common respirator is not available for children and lacks proper filtration. Meanwhile the NBC “Gas Masks,” can provide suitable protection, but their weight and size are not suitable for the elderly and sick, nor are they manufactured for children. They require specialized training and can cause respiratory fatigue, making them a poor solution for the daily needs of a critical infrastructure worker or their families.
RESPIRA™ is designed to filter not only during inhalation like other respirators, but also during exhalation, a function unique to RESPIRA™. Filtering during exhalation includes the added benefit of protection during the long incubation periods (4 to 14 days) that can occur prior to the infected showing clear symptoms. RESPIRA™ includes a drinking straw, telecommunications and other desirable features for long term use. Filtration cartridges are disposable and can be replaced as needed. Their horseshoe shape moves the center of gravity inwards to reduce neck fatigue during the extended periods of use. An adhesive gel seal in combination with the elastic straps provide a reliable seal without air leakage that is more comfortable than traditional compression seals. The multiple sizes and simple donning and doffing process eliminates the need for fit testing in an emergency setting.
RESPIRA™ is currently in a fully functioning prototype at Technological Readiness Level (TRL) 4. Full manufacture and distribution can be accomplished in 18 months or less. We are currently looking for funding to complete the development and manufacturing of this product and bring it to the market for the next pandemic event.
To learn more about the mask, please click here.