( ENSPIRE Community Spotlight ) Tommye Austin, a Nurse Created a home-made Mask Better Than the N95 Respirator
ENSPIRED Contributor: Tyler Burns
Tommye Austin, the senior vice president, and chief nurse executive has worked within the COVID-19 units and seen what this pandemic can do to the individual. She saw nurses talking about their fear of contracting the virus and the possibilities that involved spreading to their families. She could foresee the future possibility of a lack of personal protective equipment, particularly N95 respirator masks, for her nurses. She saw numerous patients on a ventilator fighting for every last breath because of the COVID-19.
Tommye’s resume is as good as it could get: R.N., Ph.D., MBA and NEA-BC (Nurse Executive Advanced-Board Certified). Her experience with the virus has helped her create a more comfortable and more effective mask than other masks and that is making waves around the medical community.
The mask Tommye Austin created is called the TM2020 for Tommye Austin 2020 and has significant benefits compared to other “typical” masks for three main reasons.
Tommye’s mask did the following:
- Lab results have displayed that Tommye’s mask blocks 96.5% of airborne particles aka viruses. This is compared to the typical N95 that only blocks 95% of airborne particles hence its name “N95”.
- Her mask doesn’t leave marks after long periods of usage. Typical N95 masks were not designed for all-day usage and they tend to leave painful marks around the nose, cheeks, and chins.
- The TM2020 has an air pocket that allows carbon dioxide to escape from it. N95 masks do not have this air pocket so they tend to give the users headaches and/or dizziness.
Tommye Austin, the senior vice president, and chief nurse executive has created a tremendous improvement on the masks and it’s important. More than 2,400 of Tommye’s masks have been made and the goal is 6,500 by the end. Last year, the industry publication Modern Healthcare ranked her the nation’s 38th most influential clinical executive. She’s on the local board of the American Heart Association and Batz Patient Safety Foundation, and she volunteers with the March of Dimes.
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