Safe Life Corp., an innovative antimicrobial company dedicated to developing novel technologies that prevent the spread of infection and disease, announced today that it is ramping production of its comfortable, breathable, A400 Series respirator to help healthcare providers and government agencies address the global shortage of N95 respirators during the H1N1 pandemic. The company has increased manufacturing capacity in response to a rapid rise in demand and now is capable of producing more than 100 million next-generation N95 respirators in 2010 at its manufacturing facilities in Williston, Vt. and Ipoh, Malaysia.
The worldwide shortage of N95 respirators continues to grow as healthcare providers struggle to maintain adequate supply levels in order to protect workers in high-risk settings. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of fit-tested, N95 respirators for healthcare personnel who are in close contact with patients with suspected or confirmed 2009 H1N1. For a 120-day pandemic, the CDC estimates that 6.2 billion N95 respirators will be needed in the U.S. alone. The current national stockpile is approximately 26 million units, and many of the nation's largest suppliers are on back order well into 2010.
"The H1N1 pandemic has underscored just how dangerous the worldwide shortage of N95 respirators has become," said Richard Jaffe, chairman and CEO of Safe Life. "Restocking the global supply of N95 respirators is a critical step in the fight against H1N1, especially since a third wave of the pandemic is expected to hit before the end of the winter. The 1918 Spanish Flu, 1957 Asian Flu and 1968 Hong Kong Flu pandemics all occurred in three waves, with each subsequent phase claiming more lives than its predecessor. That's why Safe Life is continuing to ramp production of our N95 respirators."
According to recent CDC estimates, the H1N1 influenza has sickened an estimated 50 million Americans, hospitalized about 200,000 and killed 10,000 since it was first identified last April. Shortages in N95 respirators, however, persist as demand continues to exceed available supplies.
Earlier this year, Safe Life introduced the A400 Series N95 respirator with antimicrobial protection to provide healthcare workers and other occupational users with an N95 respirator that can be comfortably worn for an entire shift. The company now is taking aggressive steps to increase its overall manufacturing capacity and production capabilities, according to Benoit Sicotte, general manager of Safe Life's manufacturing facility in Williston.
"Our top priority right now is to expand our production capacity so that Safe Life can better meet the growing demand for N95 respirators, both in the U.S. and around the world," said Sicotte. "To accomplish this, we've designed special high-tech machinery that enables us to rapidly manufacture our line of comfortable, breathable N95 respirators."
Last month, a landmark settlement was reached between Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) and the California Nurses Association, the nation's largest nursing union, as well as its national arm, the National Nurses Organizing Committee. This agreement, which included an assurance that nurses would be provided with N95 respirators and other protective equipment to stem contagion, was seen as an important step in establishing a national standard on containing the spread of pandemics. By significantly increasing production capacity, Safe Life will be well positioned to assist hospitals and other healthcare providers in similar efforts to safeguard workers who are on the frontlines in fighting the flu pandemic.
SOURCE Safe Life Corp.