Central Ohio Battelle Receives Green Light to Decontaminate N95 Masks for Coronavirus
Central Ohio located Battelle received the go-ahead from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to start decontaminating 80,000 used protective masks for healthcare workers treating coronavirus patients. after receiving the go-ahead late Sunday from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its newly developed technology. FDA had initially limited the use to 10,000 masks per day, and only in Battelle’s Central Ohio facilities.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine enlisted the help of President Donald Trump and the Ohio Congressional delegation throughout the day to speed approval after the initial limited OK curtailed the system’s capacity. The emergency approval had compressed a weeks-long process into days. Amendments added to the approval late Sunday lifted the geographic restrictions and clarified that the limit was for 10,000 “per chamber” – there are multiple chambers that can run three cycles daily.
Based on more than five years’ research, each machine can treat 80,000 N95 respirators daily, possibly scaling to more. There are two operating in the Columbus nonprofit’s West Jefferson biotech facility, with machines in transit or in place in the Covid-19 hot spots of New York and Seattle. Others are planned soon for Chicago and Washington, D.C.
Battelle manufactures the Critical Care Decontamination System in Columbus and had tested the first units in its West Jefferson facility on previously worn equipment sent from OhioHealth Corp., which helped work out operations of the system and logistics for statewide hospitals to ship their masks. Battelle also will treat masks at first from three other “major” systems that it could not yet identify
Other Ohio companies helping with logistics include Cardinal Health Inc., a Dublin healthcare manufacturer and distributor, and Steris Plc, a Mentor maker of infection prevention products and services.
Read the full story in Columbus Business First.
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