An essential requirement of the material used to manufacture oxygen masks is that it should be soft enough to provide a good, comfortable fit on a large variety of face shapes and be rigid enough to retain its shape during use, transportation and storage. In addition it should have sufficient transparency to enable the nose and mouth to be visualised. These qualities of softness and clarity have led to the extensive use of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) in oxygen masks over many years.
Within the medical device industry environmental issues have been raised from pressure groups that have questioned the use of PVC in medical products. There is particular concern with the disposal of PVC products especially when it involves incineration, due to potential release of harmful gases. As part of a continual improvement process, Intersurgical aims to reduce the environmental impact of its products and processes. This has resulted in a long search for alternative materials to PVC to address these concerns.
Utilisation of the latest manufacturing technology has enabled us to combine two (non-PVC) materials in the same mask. The material forming the body of the mask is clear and rigid enough to maintain the mask’s shape. A second, softer material is utilised in the manufacture of the seal, which is in contact with the patient’s face.
The result is the new Intersurgical ECO Oxygen mask.
This new manufacturing method required a complete redesign of the mask. This provided an ideal opportunity to make improvements in other areas. These include:
- An incurved face seal providing a vastly improved level of comfort
- On-chin positioning provides a better fit to a wider range of faces shapes
- A low elastic position eliminating trauma to the patient’s ears
- Improved seal design eliminates the need for a separate nose clip
- Reduced impact on the environment