Bainbridge Prepares volunteers, including members of the Bainbridge Island Medical Reserve Corp and BIEMR teams, have been “fit testing” masks for over 200 individuals from island and county health organizations since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
We’ve found that even the best 3M N95 masks don’t fit all faces, and thus don’t pass a fit test — meaning they allow aerosols in through gaps between the mask and the face and thus don’t provide the expected respiratory protection.
As the Seattle Times and other media has written about, N95s are in extremely short supply. To work around the shortage, we’ve experimented with many other respiratory solutions and we believe we’ve found an extremely promising option in the Bellus 3D mask.
The Bellus 3D frame allows a custom fit and seal of mask material over a user’s face. Thus, KN95s and ASTM-grade surgical masks that have N95-equivalent filtration qualities, but that DON’T have a good fit, become usable as N95 alternatives.
Read more about the Bellus from their site.
The Bellus solution is inexpensive and simple. Using an iPhone X, 11, or iPad Pro with FaceID capability, a health care worker simply needs to download the free Bellus3D app, take a 15 second face scan, and then export the “MaskFitter” result to be 3D-printed by almost any consumer-grade 3D printer. (A HUGE thanks to Doug, Mike, and Rick at BARN as well as John Broshears for printing the majority of the Bellus frames that we’ve tested and delivered.)
So far, over 50 dentists, doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and other healthcare workers have been provided a Bellus3D and have passed fit testing over ASTM-level 2 or 3 dental-grade surgical masks. (We are conducting trials with KN95s currently.)
A partial list of healthcare providers where the Bellus is in use by at least a portion of their staff are below:
- Pacifica Medicine (Poulsbo)
- Wonder Dental (Poulsbo)
- Fernwood Dental (Poulsbo)
- Peninsula Community Health Dentistry (Poulsbo)
- Andrew Fiscus DDS (Bainbridge Island)
- Johnson Link Orthodontics (Bremerton)
- Bainbridge Kids Dentistry (Bainbridge Island)
- West Sound Dental (Poulsbo)
- Uptown Dental (Gig Harbor)
- Fit to Live Physical Therapy (Bainbridge Island)
- Sheldon Orthodontics (Bainbridge Island)
- Summit Eye Center (Bainbridge Island)
If you would like to learn more about the Bellus3D frame or acquire one yourself, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.