MADISON, Wis. ‒ Due to a nationwide shortage of materials,UW Health Pharmacy Services began manufacturing the chemical solutions required to ensure proper fitting of N95 respirator masks for frontline staff fighting COVID-19.
A respirator fit test uses a chemical compound called Bitrix to check whether an N95 respirator properly fits the face of someone wearing it, but the COVID-19 crisis led to a run on the product by health systems across the country. To solve this problem, UW Health Pharmacy Services tapped into the ingenuity and determination of their staff to solve the problem themselves. Over the last couple weeks, staff were able to purchase the necessary chemicals from a quickly dwindling national inventory to compound all three of the mask testing solutions on their own. Pharmacy Services recently delivered the first batch of testing solution to University Hospital and today they delivered the latest batch to UnityPoint Health – Meriter. As a result, both hospitals now have a key component in deploying fit testing.
Interviews with experts and B-roll of the Bitrix compound being made and delivered to UnityPoint Health – Meriter are available.