WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – It’s been a whirlwind few months for 3B Medical’s Lumin, which has found a new purpose amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The company’s phone started ringing off the hook in mid-March when the New York Times published a story about the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha using ultraviolet light to decontaminate medical supplies and reuse them. The Lumin uses UV to sanitize CPAP masks and accessories.
“It kind of took off from there,” said Angela Giudice, RPSGT, director of clinical education. “Now we’re getting tons of calls from people. This thing has just exploded in a way that we never thought it would.”
3B Medical has received calls from hospitals, doctor offices, clinics and urgent care facilities, all interested in using the Lumin to sanitize their PPE masks.
“We’ve heard everything,” Giudice said. “Like in upstate New York, they were using hydrogen peroxide and hair dryers to try and disinfect their masks so they could get more use out of them. We thought that was crazy.”
The company has also received calls from fire and rescue departments, including the Snohomish County Fire Department in Seattle, which has purchased 75 Lumin devices.
“They’ve purchased a Lumin for every fire station and ambulance, so everyone has access to disinfecting their PPE,” Giudice said.
3B Medical has been working closely with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration along the way, creating guidelines for using the Lumin to reprocess PPE masks, but at press time in late May, the company was still awaiting formal approval for this use.
“We’re literally on the edge of our seats waiting,” Giudice said. “We know it’s going to happen; it’s just a matter of when it’s happening.”
In the meantime, 3B is promoting the use of Lumin to reprocess PPE masks as off-label.
“To have the FDA helping us to decide how to reprocess masks for PPE to protect first responders, respiratory people and people just sitting in waiting rooms and just being able to help (those people), even on a financial level, to get more use out of PPE—we hope that has really gone the distance in doing our part,” Giudice said.